KPC agrees H2 North Africa sulphur contracts in low $50s/tonne

08 July 2009 17:46  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Middle East sulphur producer Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) has agreed second-half 2009 contracts with buyers in North Africa in the low-$50s/tonne (high-€30s/tonne), a company official said on Wednesday.

The official added that negotiations for the contracts, agreed on a cost and freight (CFR) basis, had been fairly smooth as the North African buyers had been keen to re-establish Kuwait as a supply source.

KPC’s contracts in North Africa were suspended during the first half of this year as buyers’ demand was slow and KPC committed the tonnes to other markets, the official added.

However, Morocco’s Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP) and Tunisia’s Groupe Chimique Tunisien (GCT) agreed contracts with other Middle East suppliers for the first half at around $60/tonne CFR.

KPC had initially been looking for a price in the $55-60/tonne CFR range, according to the official.

Netbacks from shipments to North Africa were expected to be around $30/tonne FOB (free on board) Shuaiba depending on freight rates, the official added.

The KPC official said that the agreements were for 150,000 tonnes for each buyer to be shipped in July-December 2009.

A source at GCT denied that the contract had been agreed already, stating that it remained in discussions with all its suppliers. OCP could not be contacted for confirmation.

Black Sea sulphur suppliers said they remained in talks with GCT and OCP for second-half 2009 contracts, while other Middle East suppliers were understood to have started contract negotiations with settlements expected in the next couple of weeks, market source said.

($1 = €0.72)

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By: Rebecca Clarke
+44 20 8652 3214



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