US Q3 liquid sulphur talks start, increases expected

10 July 2008 16:49  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Third-quarter liquid sulphur contract discussions in the US are in their early stages, with increases of up to $200/long ton (€128/long ton) on the table due to tight supply and strong phosphates demand, market sources said on Thursday.

One major supplier is targeting an increase of slightly above $200/long ton, while one buyer is understood to be seeking an increase of $100/long ton.

Market observers say that a rise of just $100/long ton would be unrealistic and expectations are that contracts will eventually be settled at an increase of $175-200/long ton.

Second-quarter contracts were agreed at around $450/long ton CFR (cost and freight) Tampa

A rise in prices was seen as likely due to tight supply in the US Gulf and strong demand from phosphates producers, market sources said.

Additionally, US sulphur prices are substantially below global levels and some said that they need to catch up further. Second-quarter prices for the Chinese and Indian markets were agreed at around $700-725/tonne CFR.

Sources expect the third-quarter contracts to be one of the main topics of discussion at the Southwestern Fertilizer conference being held on 12-16 July in San Antonio, Houston, where initial contracts may be settled.

($1 = €0.64)

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By: Rebecca Clarke
+44 20 8652 3214

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