Weekly Bitumen News
- FOB Bulk bitumen prices in Iran rose by $20.5/t on the week due to persistent supply tightness, while drum prices firmed by $5/t.
- Deals for bulk cargoes were around $385-407/t fob basis Iran. Drummed cargoes were sold mostly in the $420-435/t fob range.
- Indian demand was firm. Some participants were pivoting to drummed material because of cheaper costs.
- State-owned refineries in Mumbai increase listed prices of VG10 and VG30 bulk and drummed cargoes by 2,140 rupees/t ($26.19/t), while VG40 bulk and drummed listed prices rose by Rs2,460/t on 16 November.
- Iraqi drums were sold at $404-422/t fob basis Bandar Abbas. Offers for such cargoes were $395-425/t depending on different grades.
- In Bahrain, listed seaborne prices were unchanged at $425/t fob basis Sitra.
- In Singapore, seaborne prices were $550-560/t fob basis, down by $5/t from the preceding week. Prices on a fob South Korea basis slipped by $20/t on the week to $430/t after some December-loading cargoes were sold in an export tender at significantly lower prices than expected.
Asia midday crude futures: Ice Brent stays below $90/bl
Singapore, 21 November (Argus) — Ice Brent crude futures fell in early Asian trading on 21 November on expectations of a continued decline in Chinese oil demand, paired with increasing global supply.
At 04:00 GMT, the Ice front-month January Brent contract was at $86.70/bl, down by 92¢/bl from its settlement on 18 November when the contract ended $2.16/bl lower.
Iran bitumen prices rise further with tight supply
Mumbai, 18 November (Argus) — Iran’s bulk bitumen prices continued to rise this week due to ongoing supply tightness in the region.
The rapid increase in prices was also attributed to a lack of firm decisions about whether the Iranian government would return the 9pc value added tax (VAT) generally levied on exports. Discussions around this policy change has pre-empted some suppliers to include 9pc VAT on bulk offers.
China’s reopening struggles to test bitumen demand
Singapore, 18 November (Argus) — A surge in China’s Covid-19 cases to multi-month daily highs threatens to complicate the country’s tentative reopening and weigh on demand for bitumen and other commodities.
Russian bitumen cargo exports up in October
Moscow, 17 November (Argus) — Cargo shipments of bitumen from Russia’s northwestern ports rose to 18,300t last month from 11,000t in September. But year-to-date seaborne exports are much lower than 2021, with 162,700t exported from Russian Baltic ports in January-October, compared to 380,000t across the whole of last year.
Ukraine’s bitumen imports on slow road to recovery
London, 16 November (Argus) — Bitumen imports to Ukraine by truck have been steadily increasing since August as the war-torn country starts the process of repairing roads and infrastructure damaged during Russia’s invasion. But a near-term resumption of cargo imports or domestic production is unlikely.
Iranian bulk bitumen freight rates rise to record highs
Tehran, 14 November (Argus) — Argus-assessed freight rates for Iranian bulk bitumen cargoes from Bandar Abbas to the Indian port of Mundra for the week to 4 November rose by $5/t from 28 October to $97.50/t, the highest since Argus began assessments in 2019.
India’s state refiners’ runs near capacity in October
Mumbai, 14 November (Argus) — Indian state-controlled refiners continued to operate at or near maximum capacity in October and are likely to run at the same levels this month, even as some switched to heavy bituminous crude.