Vancouver Q1 sulphur exports down 20% year-on-year

20 April 2011 17:35  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Total sulphur exports from the Canadian port of Vancouver dropped by 20% year on year in the first quarter of 2011 to around 648,000 tonnes, customs data showed on Wednesday.

Exports from Vancouver between January and March 2011 were 163,000 tonnes short of the total achieved in the first quarter of 2010, at 811,000 tonnes.

The drop is a result of restricted supply from major Canadian sulphur supplier Shell between December 2010 and January 2011, because of  the shutdown of the Shantz sulphur-forming facility, which was caused by a fire.

The plant restarted in January 2011 and was producing 7,000 tonnes of sulphur during the month, compared with 70,000 tonnes/month of sulphur before its closure.

Australia was the largest Canadian sulphur importer. The majority of the 156,000 tonnes received in March is understood to be for the Ravensthorpe nickel-leaching project, due to be recommissioned in May.

A total of 193,000 tonnes of sulphur was delivered to Australia in the first three months of 2011, up by 106,000 tonnes from the same period a year ago.

As Canadian suppliers continue to consciously stay out of China, because of the high volatility in Chinese prices and increasing demand from other regions, export quantity to China dropped since 2011 began. In March, just 65,000 tonnes of sulphur were delivered, up by 1,000 tonnes from the month before.  

China received 196,000 tonnes of sulphur from Vancouver in the first quarter (Q1) of 2011, down by 37% from a year ago.

The only other country importing Canadian sulphur in March was Cuba (29,000 tonnes).

Total exports from Vancouver were at 250,000 tonnes in March, down by 4% from February’s level of 261,000 tonnes.


For more on sulphur visit ICIS pricing fertilizers

By: Freda Gordon
44 208 652 3214

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