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Sulphur Prices Decline Amid Weak Agrochemical Demand in USA and Middle East Asia
Sulphur Prices Decline Amid Weak Agrochemical Demand in USA and Middle East Asia

Sulphur Prices Decline Amid Weak Agrochemical Demand in USA and Middle East Asia

  • 31-Jan-2024 2:40 PM
  • Journalist: Patrick Knight

Texas, USA: The prices of Sulphur witnessed a bearish trend due to the weak agrochemical sector. The sluggish demand from the downstream Agrochemical sector and accumulated existing inventory levels resulted in a low rate of consumption which led the market players to lower their ex-quotations, however, the buyers were cautious about their purchasing activities to avoid further losses.

In the US market, the price of Sulphur maintained its consistency with the previous week at USD 108/MT (CFR-Texas) on 31st January 2024. Despite the incline in the prices of its upstream Crude Oil market, the prices of Sulphur remained stable due to the moderate demand from the downstream Agrochemical sectors for which the existing inventories were adequate. Considering the market situation, the trade inflows from the Canadian market were slowed down. Furthermore, in mid-January, North America and the US Gulf Coast experienced a severe cold snap, causing frigid temperatures due to the Arctic blast. The combination of extreme cold and winds led to a decrease in output at certain local refineries. As a result, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a decline in refinery operating rates, dropping from 92.6% on January 12 to 85.5% on January 19.

In the Middle Eastern market, the price of Sulphur showcased a downward trend due to the recent sales tender in Qatar which witnessed low bids, indicative of weak demand and an abundance of Sulphur in the market. The global demand for Sulphur continues to be modest, with expectations of a further decline in prices. In terms of the upstream market, the prices of Crude Oil continued to incline resulting in the increased production cost for Sulphur. Furthermore, the trading activities from the UAE and Qatar markets were slowed down, however, due to the Yemen-based Houthis attack on the Red Sea, the ships were rerouted towards the Cape of Good Hope which resulted in the delayed shipments of the goods and increased in the freight charges. However, in terms of the Sulphur market, the prices continued to remain bearish due to the weak Agrochemical sector.

As per the ChemAnalyst, the Sulphur market is anticipated to further decline due to the expected low demand from the downstream agrochemical sector. Despite the increase in shipping cost and delayed delivery, the prices of Sulphur are expected to decline further. In the North American market, as per the anticipation, another Arctic Blast might occur which may further result in the low production rate of the refineries in the upcoming weeks.

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