Pockets of bitumen demand emerged, including from north Africa, but most markets were slow with summer holidays and falling crude and fuel oil prices hitting buying activity.
Domestic requirements in Mediterranean exporting coun- tries like Italy, Spain and Greece remained at seasonally low levels, before an expected rise from September onwards.
But export activity was boosted by a surge in Moroccan import demand. That was thanks to the continued shutdown of the Samir refinery in Mohammedia, with no prospect for a restart before October at the earliest, amid deep financial
problems affecting the company.
In Europe cargo export reported by Argus bitumen price levels relative to fob Rotterdam high-sulphur fuel oil quotes were assessed $15-20/t
stronger in the -$5/t to +$10/t range, reflecting full utilisation of regional bitumen tanker fleets, shipments into the
new Dagenham terminal in southeast England and arbitragenean market.
Bahrain prices dropped to nearly a seven-year low at $325/t fob. Singapore prices also saw a fall, trading at
around $340/t. The gap between high-sulphur fuel oil 180cst Singapore and bitumen widened to nearly $100/t impacting
Argus bitumen price analysis 2017
Bitumen prices are also expected to see a downward pricerevision next week, with traders expecting to see a minimum of $15/t downward revision to vacuum bottom feed-stock prices.