China demand for higher-priced S Korea bitumen to stay strong

29 August 2012 09:14  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China will continue importing South Korean bitumen for delivery in September in spite of a 7% spike in prices, as construction of road projects starts, industry sources said on Wednesday.

South Korean suppliers are selling spot September bitumen at $610-615/tonne (€488-492/tonne) free on board (FOB), up by $40/tonne from August because of tight supply, they said.

Traders said that prices of the September spot cargoes would be equivalent to $640-650/tonne CFR (cost & freight) east China.

Bitumen is used in paving roads and its consumption usually picks up in September in China.

Supply from South Korea will be tight next month as a major producer S-Oil will cut its shipment  to China by 30-40% to 30,000-35,000 tonnes because of maintenance, the source said.

South Korean refiners normally peg bitumen prices with fuel oil prices, which are on the rise.

The FOB Singapore price of 180cst fuel oil was at around $685-695/tonne this week, up by $70/tonne from one month earlier, traders said.

($1 = €0.80)

By: Alfa Li
020-3762 0271

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