Bitumen is a sticky, black, also known as asphalt in the United States. It is a substance that is produced by fractional distillation of crude oil under heat and pressure. The quality of material and ease of production are affected by the source and type of crude oil it is derived from. It is a hydrocarbon combined with elements such as calcium, iron, sulfur, and oxygen. Bitumen has waterproofing and adhesive properties so it used for road surfacing and roofing. Bitumen can also occur in nature at the bottom of ancient lakes and in sandstone.
Bitumen has three types of emulsions Rapid setting (RS), Medium setting (MS), and Slow setting (SC).
Iran is considered to be the biggest supplier of bitumen in the Middle East, South and East Asia, Africa and Europe.
Bitumen prices from December 2019
When we talk about bitumen prices we should take into consideration some factors such as shipment, price of crude oil, gross profit, business distribution, etc.
Bitumen price dropped due to many changes in fuel oil price and because of environmental agreement in France for 2020 to use less sulfur in the fuel oil and price dropped. Some of the refinery converting the final product to bitumen does not deliver fuel oil anymore so the price of bitumen dropped dramatically bitumen and from 300$/MT FOB price in August decreased to 220$/MT bulk FOB of BND. Bitumen 60/70 price in the drum is 260$/MT now still there is a chance to drop more.
Predicting of bitumen prices as a result of Imo2020 implementation in the near future and its effect on the bitumen market
- A decrease in the prices of HSF due to the replacement of VB bitumen as the raw material with HSFO.
- An increase in the prices of LSFO up to 500 $/MT in the short term due to Lack of bitumen supply by South_ Korea, Singapore and reduction of prices in the long term.