China's sulphur prices to fall after Sinopec lowers offers

12 January 2012 06:22  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s domestic sulphur prices are expected to fall after Sinopec lowered its internal offers to 14 refineries and its Puguang gas field on Thursday.

The major producer lowered its internal offers in line with thin domestic trade volumes and logistical problems resulting from a general slowdown in business activity ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, an industry source said.

The week-long New Year holiday starts on 22 January.

The 14 refineries include those in Hainan, Guangzhou, Maoming, Wuhan, Zhenhai, Gaoqiao, Yangzi, Jinshan, Jinling, Qingdao, Anqing, Qilu, Tianjin and Yanshan, a Sinopec source said.

“Liquid sulphur is offered at yuan (CNY) 1,590-1,720/tonne [$252-273/tonne] and solid sulphur is offered at CNY1,540-1,810/tonne,” the company source said.

Following the lower offers, Puguang gas field lowered its sulphur offers to the market by CNY50/tonne to CNY1,500/tonne EXW (ex-works) and to CNY1,560/tonne ex-Wanzhou port, the source said.

Puguang gas field is the biggest sulphur producer in China with a capacity of 2m tonnes/year.

The decrease in offers is expected to dampen buying sentiment in the domestic market, while traders are preferring to adopt a wait-and-see approach in the run up to the new year holiday, market players said.

At present, traders' price ideas at Nantong port for imported sulphur granules are at about CNY1,650-1,680/tonne ex-warehouse, but cargo sales are stagnant, said market participants.

($1 = CNY6.31)

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By: Natalie Hui

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