23 May 2012 10:52 [Source: ICIS news]
By Gabriela Wheeler
Inventories are more manageable and several suppliers reported a well-balanced supply/demand ratio for the month of May, amid a lack of surplus availability for spot business.
This has allowed South Korean and Japanese suppliers to stand firm by their selling indications at around $20/tonne (€16/tonne) FOB (free on board) and higher.
The sulphuric acid market in
"We are currently fulfilling our contract commitments and don't have any extra product to sell on a spot basis," a Korea Zinc company source said.
A source at trading company Interacid agreed, saying that the seller had seen prices stabilise and demand improve slightly over the last few weeks.
Buying ideas from traders have moved up, with a producer reporting bids at $20-25/tonne FOB northeast
Bids had fallen to levels at $5-10/tonne FOB in February this year because of a lack of buying interest against ample supply, and remained at this level until early May.
On the contract front, a number of second quarter 2012 supply contracts have been finalised between Korean and Japanese suppliers and their customers in
An agreement had been delayed because buyers were hoping to achieve decreases from first quarter levels, while suppliers were targeting a rollover.
A number of suppliers reported that contracts have been agreed at a rollover, with prices cited in the $40s/tonne CFR China.
The final price depends on volumes and whether the shipments are being made to southern or northern
The contract agreements at a rollover were seen as another sign that the market was improving and that prices have stabilised for the time being, but both buyers and sellers continue to watch the supply/demand balance carefully as the scale could be easily tipped towards an oversupply situation, sources said.
($1 = €0.79)
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