Western Canadian sulphur production up in November

05 February 2014 20:36 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Sulphur production in October 2013 increased year on year in western Canada, as assessed by ICIS on Wednesday.

Production was 451,000 tonnes, up from 439,000 tonnes in October 2012 and up 4% from September 2013. Year to date production has totalled 4.5m tonnes, the same as production through October 2012.

Total October 2013 gas production from plants in Alberta and British Columbia was 247,000 tonnes, down from 251,000 tonnes in October 2012 and up 5% month on month. Alberta oil sands processing produced 178,000 tonnes, up from 161,000 tonnes in October 2012 and up 4% from the previous month. Other production totalled 26,000 tonnes.

Not all sulphur production data is available for November and December 2013, but results for gas plants in Alberta show 179,000 tonnes produced in November and 187,000 tonnes produced in December.

Alberta gas plants produced 2.4m tonnes of sulphur in 2013, in line with 2012.

Alberta oil sands processing produced 192,000 tonnes of sulphur in November, which is the most tonnage of any month in 2013 from oil sands processing and up 29% from November 2012.

The sulphur market is tight in Canada, mirroring conditions in the global market due to lack of availability. Canadian Q1 contracts were heard agreed in January in the $115-120/tonne FOB (free on board) Vancouver range, up by $50-55/tonne from Q4 2013.

The range could be headed even higher as Middle Eastern sulphur producers ADNOC (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company), Saudi Aramco and Tasweeq have each independently settled their monthly contracts in February up 28% from January. The Vancouver spot range has moved up to $150-160/tonne FOB.

Sulphur is a key raw material in the production of phosphate fertilizers, including diammonium phosphate (DAP) and monoammonium phosphate (MAP).

Additional reporting done by Julia Meehan

By David Tonyan