For the Quarter Ending June 2021
Bentonite Sulphur demand remained high during the second half of the quarter across North America region. Initially during April, the supply activities for feedstock were halted due to disrupted production across US gulf coast since mid-February. Later in April, supplies improved for crude based sulphur in the country, as major crackers started operating at their usual capacity again. However, the demand for Bentonite sulphur remained modest during the month of April, which later improved in May-June timeframe. In addition, rising demand for crops like corn also exacerbated the demand for several agrochemical products including Bentonite Sulphur across North America.
The demand for Bentonite Sulphur remained firm throughout the quarter across APAC region. In China, unprecedented surge in offtakes of feedstock sulphur from other derivative segment, led to a rise in its prices. Meanwhile, the demand from agriculture sector in China was deemed firm, which also affect the prices of Sulphur in the country. On the other side, demand for Bentonite Sulphur remained high from the Indian agriculture sector, as the kharif season maintained the overall firmness in demand for fertilizers in the country.
Limited availability of feedstock Sulphur led to an effective rise in its prices across European region. The demand for Bentonite Sulphur remained modest during this period across Europe. The demand for Sulphur from different downstream sectors like sulphuric acid, remained high in the meantime, however the supply was inadequate to satisfy the overall demand. In addition, rising freight cost also exacerbating the overall price scenario of Sulphur and its derivatives product, including Bentonite Sulphur across the region.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
Bentonite Sulphur prices were directly influenced by the Sulphur prices, and the prices of Sulphur across North America were soaring due to lower output from the facilities based in the gulf coast. Devastating winter in the gulf of USA disrupted the operations at several refineries, which drastically reduced the availability of crude based sulphur across the region. Although the regional demand for Bentonite Sulphur was low during this timeframe, lack of availability marginally raised the prices in March.
Impact of winter storm sent ripples to the Asian Bentonite Sulphur market, where the imports lowered down to critically lows, compelling the prices to rise affectively across the region. Overall demand for Bentonite Sulphur remained low regionally as the regional fertiliser sector was not booming this quarter, although optimism was high during March after arrival of Zaid crop season. The sufficient availability of material, however, resisted the rise in prices, thus imparting overall stability to the price curve.
Curtailed production activities also heard from major European refineries based in France and UK capped the Bentonite Sulphur supply. Reduced the availability of Sulphur across the region somewhat raised regional offers early in the quarter. But lukewarm demand from the domestic downstream segments like agrochemicals manufacturers maintained the stability in the regional prices. Port inventories were recorded high despite some increases in the offtakes by the fertilizer producers, somewhat limiting upward price momentum.
For the Quarter Ending December 2020
Feedstock Sulphur prices eased in Q4 of 2020 in India and China due to increase in domestic supply as the production considerably revived from the aftereffects of the lockdown. Downward pressure in the prices of feedstock Sulphur in the final quarter considerably pushed down the prices of Sulphur Bentonite in the regional market. Supply returned to levels before the COVID -19 pandemic as the fertilizer industry in general was among least affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This led to price stability throughout the region in Q4. Demand from fertilizer is expected to remain firm with increasing requirement for pH maintenance in Indian soil which suffers from alkalinity.
Feedstock Sulphur supply in the regional market remained extremely constrained as refinery production remained at record low levels which led to a decrease in the exports of Sulphur from the region. High agriculture spending in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico played a critical role in shaping the regional market demand after the prolonged aftereffects of the Coronavirus pandemic. Backed by increased agricultural spending under various government initiatives, Bentonite Sulphur prices considerably revived in Q4 with respect to Q3 in the North America region.
Feedstock Sulphur supply remained tight in amidst a reduction in output by refineries in the wake of new coronavirus pandemic during Q4. This led to supply pressure in Sulphur Bentonite market. In addition, trade disruption caused due to a partial lockdown in several economies also effected the market fundamentals of Bentonite Sulphur in the region. However, demand from the agriculture industry remained stable due to consistent requirement for the product for easing alkaline nature of soil.