India and Taiwan sulphur prices reflect weakening China levels

05 December 2011 17:50  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--New sulphur tender sales in India and Taiwan have reflected similar delivered prices in China, which have weakened in recent weeks because of poor downstream demand, market sources said on Monday.

In India, sulphur producer Reliance Industries has made an award to trader Swiss Singapore at a price believed to be in the very low-$190s/tonne (low-€140s/tonne) FOB (free on board) under its 1 December sales tender, according to a trading source.

The producer offered 25,000 tonnes of granular sulphur for 29 December–4 January, with shipment from Sikka, India. Swiss Singapore has not yet decided where to take the cargo, the source added.

The new sale is relatively in line with the last offshore sale in India, where Reliance sold 25,000 tonnes of granular sulphur to the same trader in the $190–195/tonne FOB range for early December loading.

The 1 December tender award reflects $210–220/tonne CFR (cost and freight) China, which is similar to China’s recent spot price indications.

In Taiwan, sulphur producer Formosa Petrochemical Corp (FPCC) made an award at around $205/tonne FOB to a Japanese trader under its 5 December sales tender, a source close to the producer said.

FPCC is due to ship 15,000 tonnes of sulphur in early January from Mailiao, northwest Taiwan, under the tender, probably to China.

The last business done by FPCC dated back to September, when the producer sold a spot cargo at $227.50/tonne FOB under its 30 September tender. Prices have dropped since then because of a slump in sulphur demand in the producer’s largest offshore market, China.

Based on freight estimations in the low-$10s/tonne between Taiwan and China, the 5 December FPCC tender award is also in line with the current Chinese spot price range.

Demand in the biggest sulphur import market, China, has been slow, dragged by the weak downstream sulphuric acid and phosphates markets. Latest price indications for sulphur in China are in the mid-/high-$210s/tonne CFR range

($1 = €0.75)

For more on sulphur, visit ICIS pricing fertilizers

By: Freda Gordon
44 208 652 3214

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