WEEKLY REVIEW OF BITUMEN MARKET IN THE WORLD Date: Oct 22 2023
- Category: News
- Published: Saturday, 28 October 2023 07:58
- Written by Super User
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Over the course of the past week, the commodity exchange saw the introduction of approximately 190,000 tons of vacuum bottom. The interesting point is that this offering generated a demand of roughly 152,000 tons, indicating a significant 40% reduction compared to the prior week. As we pay attention to the current week, we observe an addi- tional 17,000 metric tons added to the supply. Nevertheless, given the preexisting demand volume, not all of the vacuum bottom found buyers. The weekly fluctuations displayed a range from -5.4% to -0.1% change. This increase in sup- ply, as compared to the previous week, can be attributed to a surge in supply volume from refineries in Arak, Bandar Abbas, and Shiraz. The price of vacuum bottom originat- ing from the Bandar Abbas refinery registered the most notable decline, experiencing a 5.4% decrease. Further- more, the relative price between vacuum bottom and ex- port-grade bitumen in the commodity exchange, previously at 88%, ascended to 90% during this week. Considering the average dollar value of vacuum bottom, based on the free market exchange rate (reflecting the rate at the time of news retrieval), it reached $263. In contrast, relying on the market exchange rate, the average value stood at $328.
In the recent session at the Iran’s international commodity exchange, an estimated 81,000 metric tons of bitumen were put up for trade, marking a notable increase compared to the preceding week, which had seen a supply of 48,000 tons. It worth mentioning that this week’s offering was only about 600 metric tons less than the average of monthly volume. This expansion in supply can be chiefly attributed to the active involvement of significant industry players, includ- ing Isfahan Jey Oil, Bandar Abbas Jey Oil, and Pars Behin Gheshm Oil Refinery. In addition, despite the aggregate of- fering amounting to approximately 65,420 metric tons, the trading activity remained subdued, mainly due to demand not keeping pace with the ample supply. Regarding the stan- dardization of transactions in the commodity market and considering the exchange rate of the free market at the time of this report, the pricing was approximately in the range of $285 to $309 per metric ton for Isfahan Jey Oil Bulk Bitu- men. Meanwhile, Bandar Abbas Pasargad Oil was quoted at around $329 per metric ton for bulk and $379 per barrel for drum bitumen. Additionally, Arak Pasargad Oil was val- ued at approximately $287 per metric ton. The Qeshm Is- land-based Pars Behin Gheshm Oil Refinery’s bitumen was transacted at a rate of approximately $299 per metric ton.
As per the report by the Union of Petroleum Export- ers, the executive decree aimed at countering illic- it trade in goods and foreign currency has returned to its previous protocol concerning the “restriction on exporting petroleum products via flexi-tanks.”
During the past week, the Chairman of the Board of Di- rectors of the Union of Petroleum, Gas, and Petrochem- ical Product Exporters disclosed that exports from union members in the bitumen, hydrocarbon, and oil sector had reached a substantial $2.6 billion within the first six months of this year. He noted that, within the same pe- riod, the country had seen a total of nearly $22 billion in exports and $30 billion in imports. The chairman also expressed the belief that with the proper design of the government’s currency repatriation policies, these economic imbalances could be effectively addressed.
During a discussion on “Foreign Exchange Contracts: For or Against Exports?” with the Central Bank representative, the concerns of private sector participants regarding for- eign exchange transactions were addressed. Hossein Tajik, the Director of Foreign Exchange Allocation at the Central Bank, acknowledged certain challenges in the repatriation of foreign exchange earnings resulting from exports. He clarified that the Central Bank has outlined five distinct methods for repatriating these earnings, and all exporters, except for quasi-governmental entities, have the opportu- nity to make use of them. Tajik indicated that there are no inherent issues with the process of foreign exchange re- patriation, and he emphasized that one particularly note- worthy proposal under consideration is the utilization of foreign exchange earnings for investment purposes. Ad- ditionally, he pointed out that, in some specific scenarios, the Central Bank does not impose any constraints, offer- ing exporters more flexibility in their financial operations.
Last week, the Director-General of Mining Industries at the Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Trade raised a criti- cal issue. He revealed that the Administrative Justice Tribunal had put a halt to the one percent export duties on mineral products. Given the unfavorable market con- ditions, the primary goal is to prevent the imposition of additional levies. He further emphasized that it is illog- ical and counterproductive to sell essential raw materi- als needed domestically, especially when these materi- als play a role in completing the local production chain.