China July bitumen imports down by 11% MoM on weak demand

01 September 2010 10:51  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China imported some 333,500 tonnes of bitumen in July, down by nearly 11% from June due to weak demand, according to data released by China Customs on Wednesday.

July was the fourth consecutive month of decline in China's import volumes, as domestic demand had remained lacklustre during the third quarter of this year.

“Heavy rains earlier in the quarter and high inventories of domestic bitumen have left importers unwilling to buy large quantities,” said a regional trader.

Demand was currently showing some signs of a modest recovery, but prices were still very competitive and any uptrend in imports might only take place in October, he added.

Prices of Korean cargoes in China were pegged at around $475/tonne (€375/tonne) CFR (cost & freight), while those of southeast Asian-origin exempt from import duties – were pegged at $510–525/tonne CFR, ICIS data showed.

The year-to-date imports for the first seven months of 2010 stood at 2.44m tonnes, up by 15% from the same period last year, according to the data from China Customs.

The main source of imports into China was Korea, followed by Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand, the data showed.

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By: Anu Agarwal
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