KPC re-enters sulphur spot market after 14 months

10 May 2010 11:38  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) has issued a sales tender for 25-30,000 tonnes of sulphur after being out of the spot market for over a year, a company official said on Monday.

The tender will close on 12 May and the cargo is for a 4-6 June shipment from Shuaiba.

The official from KPC said the spot cargo came from its uncommitted sulphur availability for the second quarter. The producer only secured two-thirds of its contracts with traders and buyers from China and India in the range of $150-160/tonne (€192-205/tonne) FOB (free on board).

Most Middle Eastern producers have concluded their second quarter contracts in the $150s/tonne FOB following prolonged contract negotiations. Some producers allocated their second quarter availability to new markets, including South and North American buyers, to offset the weaker demand in China.

The sales tender was issued amid Adnoc’s delayed announcement of its May sulphur price, which was expected to come down from April’s $170/tonne FOB Ruwais to $140-150/tonne FOB.

Spot sulphur prices continue to fall. The last spot business out of the Middle East was concluded at $165/tonne CFR (cost and freight) by trader Midgulf to Paradeep, India. The price was equivalent to $130/tonne FOB, about $40/tonne below Adnoc’s April sulphur price set at the beginning of the month.

KPC had reported tight sulphur supply last month as continued work on its desulphurisers would lead to a loss of about 50,000 tonnes of sulphur for the second quarter after the producer already lost 75,000 tonnes of sulphur in the first quarter.

($1 = €0.78)

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By: Freda Gordon
44 208 652 3214

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