October Vancouver sulphur exports rise 19% year on year

19 December 2013 22:20 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Vancouver exported 124,028 tonnes of sulphur in October 2013, according to data provided by Port Metro Vancouver on Thursday.

Vancouver exports were down from 185,459 tonnes in September but up 19% year on year. Total exports for 2013 so far have been 2.3m tonnes, up from 2.1m tonnes exported through October of last year.

Mexico received the most exports in October at 53,000 tonnes, and has received 145,853 tonnes total in 2013. Australia has received the most exports in 2013 at 786,000 tonnes, up from 448,000 tonnes received through October of last year.

China was the leading importer from Vancouver last year, with 941,000 tonnes received through October. They are down to 589,000 tonnes through October this year.

The increase for Australia is due to demand for sulphur for sulphuric acid leaching projects to extract nickel. China has decreased sulphur imports by 8% across the board this year largely due to lower phosphate demand from India, and imports from Canada have fallen even more due to increased availability from closer producers such as Kazahkstan, South Korea and Iran.

After a collapse in pricing over the summer, the sulphur market is starting to see an uptick in pricing due to tightening supply in the Middle East and speculator activity in China. The Vancouver spot price range has risen to $100-110/tonne (€73-80/tonne) FOB (free on board) as assessed by ICIS in December from $60-65/tonne at the end of November, with the contract price expected to recover to a similar level.

By David Tonyan