Saudi Aramco September sulphur price down $11/tonne

12 August 2014 12:16 Source:ICIS News

SulphurLONDON (ICIS)--Saudi Aramco Trading has set its monthly sulphur price for shipments in September at $159/tonne FOB (free on board) Middle East, down by $11/tonne from August, market sources confirmed on Tuesday.

“The Saudi’s at $159/tonne is more realistic for the market,” said a Middle East based trader, adding: “The Chinese were not prepared to pay prices of $170/tonne FOB.”

Another trader, also based in the Middle East, echoed a similar sentiment.

“This Saudi Aramco price is more reasonable. [Named producer] offered me $170/tonne FOB for some spot material but where can I find freight at $11/tonne?”

Despite the lower price, it appears to have done nothing to boost demand in the short term, indeed very few enquires are heard at the moment from China or India.

“India is just not buying. Everybody is covered. Demand is also not so strong in China at the moment,” the second trader added.

Meanwhile, JPMC in Jordan was heard to have awarded a purchase tender for 70,000-80,000 tonnes of sulphur for September delivery at $181/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Aqaba.

“JMPC we heard around $181/tonne which is in line with the Aramco price,” commented a seller.

Demand for sulphur has not been as strong as expected, but many sources are optimistic that business will start to pick-up ahead of the rabi season in India and domestic fertilizer demand in China.

Rabi crops refer to agricultural crops sown in the winter and harvested in the spring and are grown between the months of November and April. The rabi season starts with the onset of north-east monsoon in October.

The domestic season for downstream fertilizers in China starts mid-October.

By Julia Meehan