Vietnam cuts imports of China bitumen on quality issue: traders

02 August 2013 10:57  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Vietnaim has drastically reduced its purchase of bitumen from China since July because of quality issues, traders said on Friday.

Vietnam is the biggest buyer of Chinese bitumen, accounting for around 90% of China’s exports of the material.

The southeast Asian country typically imports some 8,000 tonnes of bitumen from China each month, ICIS data showed.

But in July, Vietnam bought almost zero bitumen from China, traders said.

Some Vietnam contractors are resisting Chinese bitumen as quality problem was found in one project, traders in Singapore and Vietnam said, but declined to elaborate.

The problem, however, may have also been rooted on construction technologies rather than the bitumen, said another trader.

With demand from Vietnam at almost nil, bitumen prices in east China declined by $10/tonne ($8/tonne) in July from June to $570/tonne on a free-on-board basis, according to a source at a Chinese refinery.

Lower bitumen prices from China, meanwhile, consequently boosted buying interest from some Indonesian traders, an industry source said.

($1 = 0.76)

By: Lisa Wang

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