The ICIS C1 Asia Bitumen Market Weekly report is a detailed and reliable source of information compiled by our locally-based reporters. There are numerous price assessments and our news and analysis give you information on offers and deals in Asia and China, import and export movements, overviews of the regions, shipping updates, as well as market and economic news.
This independent and unbiased market intelligence helps you to make informed commercial choices.
Our editor gives their expert view
The Asian market for bitumen is estimated at 35-40m tonnes. China’s demand accounts for 20m tonne and the balance is traded throughout the region.
Most regional players buy as locally as possible, and arbitrage is rare. This is because shipping costs can make long distance trade uneconomic.
From a supply perspective, bitumen is sensitive to crude/fuel oil prices. Bitumen is the last component left in a barrel of refined oil, and many refineries have fuel oil/bitumen swing capabilities.
The demand side for bitumen is driven by budgets for large public works such as road building and construction.
Overall, Asia is largely balanced. In North East Asia, China has domestic capacity and imports mainly from South Korea, Thailand and Singapore.
In Southeast Asia, Indonesia and Vietnam mainly import from Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan.
Over the medium term, demand is likely to increase in most Asian countries, with China, India and Indonesia likely to see the greatest growth.
How we can help
Bitumen news and market information products from ICIS
We offer the following regional Bitumen analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Bitumen marketplace.
Price Reporting – More information about the price reports we publish on Bitumen
Independent price assessments and market coverage by region
Price History – More information about the historical price data we publish on Bitumen
Track historical price data
News & analysis
News & Analysis - News & market analysis specifically relating to Bitumen
Breaking news of latest developments affecting the markets.
Insight and analysis of factors driving prices.
Bitumen: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2014
In the coming fourth quarter, China’s bitumen demand is expected to decrease, while other Asian countries are just entering into peak period.
Most of roads under construction need to be finished before the end of this year, so Chinese bitumen demand in October is expected to be very strong, so that bitumen prices still have room to climb higher in some domestic regions. But the uptrend in domestic bitumen prices are expected to halt after October as domestic end-user demand is expected to drop when the winter-stockpiling season starts.
For other Asian markets, such as Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, more road construction is to start, bringing traditional busy seasons for bitumen demand. Driven by it, Singapore bitumen FOB prices are to rise accordingly in the next three months.
Australia bitumen demand picked up as road construction became busier after the winter ended. In the fourth quarter, bitumen demand from Australia is expected to be stronger than in the third quarter.
For Middle East region, demand will also be getting up little by little. Bitumen prices are expected to go up slightly in the coming three months.
News & analysis
Bitumen news & analysis
ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
Our in-depth market knowledge drives our specialist focus, as we recognise the importance of individual market dynamics and not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Over 25 years of reporting on key chemicals markets, including Bitumen, has brought global recognition of our methodology as being unbiased, authoritative and rigorous in preserving our editorial integrity. Our global network of reporters in Houston, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Perth and Moscow ensures unrivalled coverage of established and emerging markets.
Bitumen is a heavy, semi solid oil derivative that gradually softens when heated. There are different qualities of Bitumen which will vary according to the type of crude oil refined.
ICIS pricing focuses on Bitumen 60/70 rated according the penetration and softening point tests at 25 deg C.