Instability in Iran’s bitumen market is reaching 2 months
Iran’s currency in comparison to the USD has reached a historic all-time low. It has lost at least 100% of its worth in most of the world’s none governmental vendors. Despite great effort by Iran’s respected Governing body to maintain its value at 4,200.00 Toman per 1.00 USD all across the board, today we can witness 1.00 USD being exchanged at 10,000.00 Toman. This conflict in value has caused a rift in Iran’s bitumen market. At the present Exporters are required to return the greater portion of their export revenue back into the Nation at Government approved exchange rates. This is in conflict with most of the importers expectations for competitive bitumen rates who depend on free market USD exchange rates to purchase their goods from Iran.
Iran’s respected Government and the business community are continuously working together to explore news ways to find workable solutions towards the new challenges caused by the unexpectedly rapid depreciation of our currency.
As a consequence of the Economic pressures imposed by foreign powers on Iran, many of the Shipping lines which operated from Iran have either momentarily stopped their operations or are preparing to do so. Of course, Iran’s shipping line IRSL is still active along with a few other shipping lines.
Many of the bitumen producers in Iran have either momentarily stopped their bitumen exports or have cancelled their pending orders. Presently we are taking bitumen inquiries on a case by case basis as both procuring bitumen and shipping it have become a challenge.
We look forward to a prompt resolution to all of this great Nation’s challenges and are optimistic and confident that it will overcome them and triumph over them.
If you have a bitumen inquiry or require relevant products from Iran’s petrochemical market please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Bitumen Prices in May 2018 may increase between 35 to 40 USD/MT
Iran Bitumen Export Ban Lifted
May 2018 News Summary
Over the past month aside from Iran Bitumen Export Ban the following events have influenced both bitumen prices and availability:
The Currency crisis in Iran. Iran’s currency lost great value nearly 40% in the free market and 20% officially. The reasons for this historic event are still under great speculation. Some have suggested it could be both political and economic. The Iran Government is working tirelessly to control this devaluation and has deemed all free market rates as “illegal”.
Bitumen prices fell a solid 10% which amounts to an average of 30.00 USD/MT. Due to the influx in sales which is estimated to be much more than 100,000 MT or more than the usual amount purchased from each refinery caused both Government refineries Jey Oil and Pasargad oil to go into a form of overhaul. After many years the bitumen business saw a change in sales and profitability. Of course, this was short lived and only enjoyed by a few companies which had purchased their bitumen prior to this event as all new orders were effected by late deliveries which is still ongoing. In other words the bitumen presently available in the market by a few bitumen suppliers is highly likely bitumen which was purchased at least 30 to 60 days ago which is being delivered today. It is estimated that the government refineries are at least 30 days or more behind schedule.
The Private bitumen sector also suffered as V.B. was not vastly available and it is reported that it still is not readily available. Therefore, while demand was extremely high for all types of bitumen produced in Iran availability was actually quite low and it still is pending the new price announcement expected in the coming days. It is speculated that bitumen prices will rise due to several factors which include an in influx in sales, fluctuating currency value in Iran and increasing crude oil prices.
Admits the difficulties attaining bitumen for export by bitumen exporters and attaining feed to produce bitumen by the private sector, Iran’s respected Government imposed a ban on all bitumen exports. This now lifted ban aims to add new a layer of venting for all bitumen exports. Presently, a new permission must be granted for the export of bitumen. Up to now this applies to all bitumen producers both Government and private. Before becoming more manageable many suppliers were negatively impacted by this sudden restriction. Those who were mostly effected by the temporary restriction in the export of bitumen were bulk bitumen buyers and exporters. Both have suffered a few days of demurrages while awaiting the new procedure for exports. It has been reported that all bulk bitumen vessels have been allowed to continue their journey.
As Iran is about 11 days ahead in its calendar, and bitumen prices are revised each month most sales have stopped pending new bitumen prices and V.B. rates. Let us not forget the confusion in the market on how to calculate the USD value and other currency values against Iran’s currency. The choices are the legally announced 4,200 Tomans as per the Government’s decision or the free market rate which is at least 25% higher an d up to this point deemed counterproductive and illegal.
Our company earlier this month invested in the purchase of least 10,000 Metric Tons of Pasargad Oil Embossed bitumen which we will be able to collect in the coming 10 to 14 days. As per Pasargad Oil’s rule on bitumen pricing we must wait for new bitumen rates to be released before we are actually able to know how much our final cost will be. In other words the bitumen which is not lifted from the Government refinery can only be lifted under its new value. This rule was created to protect both buyers and suppliers from sudden influxes in the bitumen market.
Bitumen prices remained stable despite a 35,000 Toman bitumen price increase in the Stock Exchange. 35,000 Tomans is equal to 8.00 USD/MT which is passed onto consumers which import bitumen. However, because USD value in Iran is at a historic high, this has caused the price increase to be seemingly ineffective. Meaning the conversion of USD into Iran’s local currency has neutralized the much dredded price increase in bitumen value. It is easy to view this price increase for raw materials also known as Vacuum Bottom as an adjustment to maintain the same level prices as the previous month.
We are Bulk bitumen suppliers Iran. Our company is now involved in the export of high quality road bitumen in bulk via bulk vessels to neighboring countries such as Oman, UAE, Pakistan, India and many others. After production, Bulk bitumen is initially stored in storage tanks near Bandar Abbas port and loaded onto Bulk bitumen vessels which can be sourced either by our company or the buyer.
When crude oil prices were over 100 USD per barrel, Iran’s bitumen prices were in the range of 500 USD to 600 USD/MT on a FOB basis. As crude oil prices took a barrish turn so did bitumen prices. It should come at no surprise to bitumen importers that as crude oil prices increase so will Bitumen rates.
This recent 8.00 USD/MT price increase in raw materials to produce bitumen in addition to the 67.00 USD from last month equal 76.00 USD/MT total in price increases. This is mainly the outcome of the bullish prices of crude oil rates.
Raw material to produce high quality bitumen in Iran increased bitumen prices 67.00 USD/MT in the stock exchange.
Let us examine some of the causes:
One of the reasons bitumen prices in Iran have increased is due to the increasing crude oil prices. Another factor bitumen prices in Iran have acended is the Government’s new policy for its new exchange rate against the USD. In the past 5 years or so Iran’s currency has lost nearly 400 % value against the USD. The Government in aims to control inflation on imported goods had provided certain products such as food and medicine a more affordable exchange rate. It also provided certain other less crucial imported needs of the nation a more affordable exchange rate. The government rate had always been less than that of the free market. Overall there was a decent gap between the Government’s exchange rates and that of the free market. With that virtually out of the way now the Government has decided to close the gap and increase it’s exchange rate to that of the free market. This new policy will impact nearly all aspects of Iran’s imported and exported product rates. Presently there will be a minimum of 10% difference in the value of purchasing or converting Government USD to that of the free market. For example, when in the past we bought bitumen or raw feed we paid the government in USD based on the exchange rates implemented by the government. Therefore by using this advantage we were able to discount our bitumen prices for consumers. This is because we sold bitumen at the free market exchange rates but paid the government a lower exchange rate. But now we cannot provide this incentive and pass it onto our customers and we will look towards our officials to balance the scales and bring Irab bitumen prices within a more affordable range.
Will there be a reverse in Iran bitumen price policy?
in the pastwhen such an event occurred the Government lowered the prices of Vacuum Bottom VB the raw material needed to produce bitumen which brought back bitumen prices to a managable and predictable price range. If Iran’s bitumen industry would like to compete in the international market which we are certain it does it will create the necessary balance.With that said, Iran’s prices for bitumen is one of the most affordable bitumen available in the market.
Due to the increase of Crude Oil prices, bitumen prices in Iran are now unstable and we will be offering new rates to our customers next week.
Nearly all bitumen producers and suppliers have stopped offering bitumen prices or are suggesting prices at least 10 USD/MT higher than the norm. This is due to the fact that no one yet knows the effects rising crude oil prices will have on bitumen prices. As the price of crude oil rises so does Vacuum Bottom prices.
If you would like purchase bitumen from us or receive consultation or require a product within Iran’s export industry please contact + 98 912 101 6609 and speak to Mr. Aghili or email us at email@example.com and visit www.iran-bitumen.com for updated bitumen prices.
Not all bitumen qualities are suitable for road construction. Imagine a customer unknowingly purchasing bitumen suitable for insulation and/or roofing and not intended for road construction. Is the saving of 10.00 USD/MT to 20.00 USD/MT worth damaging their hard earned investment and reputation?
There are endless customers which are familiar with Iranian bitumen. They have previously purchased it from Iranian suppliers and are satisfied with the quality and the service they have received. This is excellent! We are all thankful to those suppliers and buyers for supporting Iran’s petrochemical industry. Expert suppliers give other noble suppliers the chance to also sell bitumen to the various customers with bitumen in the future. While one bad experience can contribute to the eventual collapse of this industry.
Our focus in this article is the customers which may not have received the quality which they expected and are wondering why? or the ones who are just beginning your experience in the bitumen market please consider the following guidance to make the best informed decision.
Why do we reiterate this point about quality and pricing over and over?
Continuous customer feedback about the bitumen prices they are receiving which are too low to be for road quality bitumen
Customer feedback about the bad experiences they have had or know someone who has dealing with low quality bitumen which are often supported with pictures or evidence
The continued challenge of respectable bitumen producers, brokers, and suppliers who struggle to compete with low quality bitumen offers which are unsubstantiated in most cases. In other cases if there is bitumen of such low pricing it is generally not suitable for road construction. It also primarily does not comply with ASTM standards.
Good suppliers are not saying that low quality or rather off specs bitumen as per ASTM standards has no place in the market. Not at all. All types of qualities are essential to exist in any market for different purposes. The bitumen community is advising bitumen enthusiasts understand that all bitumen qualities are not the same. New bitumen clients often suggest that all bitumen prices should be exactly the same. Our customer service department usually replies by asking them should all shoes, glues, cloth or paint cost the same price? This question clearly answers itself as there are various levels of quality and purpose for each product.
Bitumen buyers should not ask a high quality bitumen producer to offer them the same rates as a supplier who is offering them bitumen suitable for roofing or other purposes and not necessarily road construction. This will surely get their blood boiling and show them that you’re actually not well informed about this business and it’s going to be a long time before you are wise enough to make the right decision on your purchase.
We will soon discuss our personal view on how the international inspection company(s) method of taking samples of bitumen can improve and distinguish the quality differences. One way is to take bitumen samples from the bottom of the bitumen drums as well as the top. By not doing so only the top layer of the bitumen is only tested and what good is a partial test of a product?
Customer can always contact Iran Bitumen without any obligation at + 98 912 101 6609 via Whatsapp, IMO, Viber, or Telegram and ask our expert advice.
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Share not all bitumen are suitable for road construction
Iran Bitumen prices increase by nearly 12.00USD/MT on the 21st January . This bitumen prices increase is based on the increase in value of Vacuum Bottom also known as VB which is used to produce high quality road bitumen for export from Iran.
Another factor which has affected bitumen rates is the decline in USD value in Iran from an average of 4,000.00 Tomans per 1.00USD to nearly 3,800.00 Toman. These two forces have increase bitumen prices an average of 15.00USD to 20.00USD/MT from their previous state.
If USD value gains strength in Iran we may see a slight decline in bitumen prices in Iran.