Weekly Bitumen News
- Bulk bitumen prices in Iran rose by $10/t week-on-week, while drum prices firmed by $5/t on the back of the strength seen in vacuum bottom (VB) prices and firm demand from South Asia.
- Deals for bulk cargoes were seen between $347-366/t fob Iran, while drummed parcels were sold mostly in the $400-415/t fob range.
- Demand from India started showing signs of strengthening following the end of Diwali festivities last week. Demand is expected to show a sharp increase from November.
- A revision in the listed ex-works prices will be issued by Indian refiners on 1 November.
- Demand for Iraqi drums picked up last week, with deals seen in the wide band of $385-405/t on a fob Bandar Abbas basis.
- In Bahrain, listed seaborne prices on a fob Sitra basis were unchanged at $425/t.
- In Singapore, seaborne prices were assessed unchanged at $555-565/t fob last week, while prices on a fob South Korea basis slipped by $5/t on a week-on-week basis.
Export tax confusion quells Iranian bitumen trade
Singapore, 28 October (Argus) — The usually active Iranian bitumen export market was relatively illiquid early in the week, when many suppliers held back from making fresh offers because of market confusion regarding potential changes to export tax policies.
Xi’s third term signals slower growth
The re-elected president appears to have made national security his main mission, with economic growth on the back burner
London, 28 October (Argus) — Chinese president Xi Jinping has secured apparently total control over the country’s Communist party at its five-yearly congress. Economic dynamism may suffer as a result, but the government believes that this is a price worth paying in the face of mounting internal and external threats.
Iraq’s political breakthrough could spur oil spending
Dubai, 28 October (Argus) — A political stalemate that brought Iraq to the brink of civil war was finally broken earlier this month, paving the way for a new government to start investing the windfall revenue generated from high oil prices. But the newly brokered consensus between major sectarian parties also signals a return to the “old ways” of doing politics in Iraq and with it a potential new crisis in the making.
Italian bitumen consumption falls sharply versus 2021
London, 26 October (Argus) — Italian bitumen consumption fell by 352,000t in the first nine months of this year, a 24.1pc decline from the same period in 2021, according to the latest data from Italian industry body Unem. Consumption of the product fell to 1.109mn t in January to September this year from 1.46mn t in the corresponding period last year.
Tupras issues bitumen fob supply tender for 2023
London, 27 October (Argus) — Turkish refiner Tupras is offering bitumen cargoes for export on a fob basis during 2023 under a fresh tender that it aims to award next week.
The company is offering one 5,000-30,000t cargo a month loading from its Izmir and Izmit refinery terminals, although it is understood there is flexibility on cargo sizes and overall volumes depending on bids that are received. Bids are due in by tomorrow, market participants said.
Colas UK bitumen terminal start-up pushed back to 2023
London, 27 October (Argus) — The start-up of Colas unit Continental Bitumen’s new Bristol terminal and blending facility in Avonmouth, western England, has been pushed back to next year. Continental Bitumen, French construction group Colas’ trading and shipping arm, initially planned to complete the bitumen facility in mid-2022, but by May this year that schedule had been pushed back to November.
Spanish road tenders, bitumen output and exports fall
Barcelona, 27 October (Argus) — Contract offers for Spanish road construction declined in January-August, while bitumen output and exports were sharply lower. Spanish national and regional authorities awarded €2.5bn ($2.5bn) of road construction contracts in January-August, down by 4.4pc year on year, according to figures from constructors federation Seopan. Of these offers 27pc were for new road building and 73pc for repairs. New road construction tends to be more supportive of bitumen demand.