Singapore bitumen prices to fall on low demand from major buyers

03 May 2012 10:05  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Prices of  June cargoes of Singaporean bitumen may be weighed down in the near future because of weak demand from major buyers, Indonesia and China, traders said on Thursday.

China, Malaysia and Indonesia are the top three importers of Singaporean bitumen, but there is no demand from Malaysia at present, according to industry sources.

A Singaporean refiner sold two bitumen cargoes of 3,000 tonnes each for delivery in June to Indonesia via tender last week, with a tender award price of $660/tonne (€502/tonne) FOB (free on board), lower than the $665-670/tonne for May cargoes, according to traders.

Bids for the May cargoes were around $645-650/tonne, said the traders.

According to some traders, some Singaporean refiners who are insisting on prices of $670-680/tonne FOB for June deliveries are witnessing slow sales, with some still selling May cargoes.

Indonesia may no longer buy June cargoes as the two shipments it bought will be enough to satisfy its short term demand, industry sources said, adding that it is currently the low season for the Indonesian market.

In addition, buyers from China, Australia and Vietnam are resisting high prices as demand is weak, according to traders.

China’s demand is sluggish and its domestic bitumen price has decreased,” a Singaporean trader said.

“The price of May South Korean cargoes has also dropped, so Singaporean bitumen price has to fall to remain attractive,” added the trader.

China buyers will only accept May Thai cargoes at $635/tonne FOB,” a Singaporean refiner said.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Alfa Li
020-3762 0271

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