Vietnam uncommitted on June bitumen cargoes amid high inventory

22 May 2012 09:29  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Vietnam, Asia’s second-biggest bitumen importer after Indonesia, remains uncommitted on buying June cargoes because of high inventories, traders said on Tuesday.

The country, which does not produce bitumen itself, imports an average of around 30,000-40,000 tonnes of the material each month to meet its annual demand of 400,000-450,000 tonnes, industry sources said.

No Vietnamese importer has purchased Singaporean or Taiwan bitumen for June yet, despite the recent fall in prices, a Singaporean trader said.

June prices for Singaporean bitumen has dropped to $640/tonne (€499/tonne) free on board (FOB) on 22 May from $670/tonne on 8 May, according to C1 Energy, an ICIS service in China.

“The average inventory level of Vietnam’s seven largest traders is above 60% and together they are holding more than 42,000 tonnes of bitumen at present,” a major Vietnam importer said.

While Vietnam’s overall monthly bitumen demand will increase slightly in June from May to 20,000 tonnes for both June and July, it would still be lower than during the peak period, so importers are in no rush to purchase.

In addition, demand has been affected by buyers taking a wait-and-see stance because of the downtrend of the bitumen prices, market sources said.

By: Alfa Li
020-3762 0271

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