India sulphur prices fall on downstream fertilizer curtailment

09 January 2012 17:55  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Import and export sulphur prices in India have both decreased, following downward corrections to two key prices because of weak downstream demand, market sources said on Monday.

A new sale, under Indian sulphur producer Reliance Industries’ 5 January sales tender, is at least $13/tonne (€10.3/tonne) below its last tender business.

The producer has made an award to Dubai-based trader Swiss Singapore, at a price thought to be above $175/tonne FOB (free on board) India, although the trader says it is around $170/tonne FOB.

“[The 25,000 tonnes of sulphur] is for 30 January–5 February shipment from Sikka [in Gujarat state], so we have not decided where to take the cargo yet, but it will likely be China,” the trader added.

Further attesting to the weakening price trend is a $15/tonne reduction to the monthly Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) official selling price (OSP) for January, applicable to the Indian market only.

The Middle East producer announced last week a new January OSP at $190/tonne FOB Ruwais, following another $15/tonne drop in December.

The price reflects the high-$210s/tonne CFR (cost and freight) India, which is lower than latest confirmed Indian business at $202–205/tonne CFR.

The weakening price trend is caused by less demand in the global phosphate fertilizer market because of declining prices.

Due to that, several phosphate fertilizer producers announced output curtailment for the first quarter, including Mosaic in the US, Russia’s PhosAgro and Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP) in Morocco.

One international trader told ICIS: “All major global phosphate producers [are] cutting production heavily. It’s probably time to go on holiday.”

“It’s bad enough to hear reduced output from OCP, yet demand from major China is very slow,” another international trader added.

($1 = €0.79)

For more on sulphur visit ICIS pricing fertilizers

By: Freda Gordon
44 208 652 3214

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