For the Quarter Ending of June 2021
In North American region, the demand for Bromine and its derivatives remained well supported in the second quarter of 2021. Quarterly offtakes improved from the downstream buyers amidst strong market sentiments to replenish the inventory levels ahead of the upcoming hurricane season in the next quarter. Traders stocked up actively amid rising enquiries from the flame retardant manufacturers and improvement in the exports segment. Bromine supplies in the North American region improved as several producers ramped up run rates to mitigate the impact of winter storm Uri that disrupted operations in Q1. Amidst sharp uptick in the global Bromine rates and high operational costs, the Bromine pricing in USA observed a gradual increment with FOB Michigan June prices assessing at USD 4690 per tonne.
Bromine supplies in the Asia Pacific region were tight during the second quarter of 2021, as the regional Bromine manufacturers witnessed skyrocketing demand from the downstream Bromine derivatives sectors as the enquiries were piled up since the Lunar New Year holidays in February. One of the key Bromine manufacturers in China halted operations at its multiple facilities amidst the government regulatory restrictions. Lack of availability pushed up the Chinese Bromine offers which reached an all-time high in May. FOB Shanghai Bromine discussions in June were assessed at USD 6970 per tonne, showing an increment of 21.22 % from the prices in April.
Bromine supplies in the European market were curtailed amidst lack of imports as several Asian producers reported curtailed operations amidst stricter environmental regulations. Demand for the brominated flame retardants remained firm from the electronics sector. Traders reported high priced shipments arriving from China with consumers facing the brunt of high shipping charges and tight regional supplies. Lesser inventory levels and high operational costs were the key factors driving the global uptrend in the Bromine pricing.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
The supplies in the North American region remained limited during the first quarter of 2021, owning to the repercussions of the polar winter storm in the US Gulf region. The industrial infrastructure collapsed, and plants were forced to shut their production during the mid-February. However, restocking activities from the previous quarter under the stress ahead of winter season reduced the impact over the prices of Bromine which averaged around USD 4480 per tonne FOB Michigan. Demand witnessed a tremendous uptrend as the offtakes improved from the downstream chemicals and pharmaceutical industries.
The Asia Pacific Bromine market witnessed strong market sentiments with tight supplies during the first quarter of 2021, owning to the limited inventories of Bromine as several Bromine manufacturers halted their production during the first half of the quarter as the inventories level were piled up amid the reluctant offtakes and Chinese lunar new year holidays in the February. Demand was healthy from the downstream flame retardants and intermediates; however, the offtakes surged from the pharmaceutical sector by the quarter ending due to the resurgence of COVID in India. Prices in the FOB Shanghai hiked by 16.8% on y-o-y averaging at USD 5620 per tonne in Quarter ending.
Supplies in the European market remained balanced to tight throughout the Q1 of 2021, owning to the reduced throughput in the regional manufacturing facilities. Deliveries to Antwerp were disrupted amid the extreme cold weather in the Northwestern hemisphere and the decline in shipments from the USA. Demand surged as the offtakes improved from the downstream pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing industries.
For the Quarter Ending December 2020
The key highlights of the Asian Bromine market were limited availability and demand which exceeded the Q3 levels. Bromine prices are set were stabilized during the quarter due to levelling up of crude oil prices. Sellers were heard stockpiling inventory levels amidst anticipations of hike in price in the upcoming quarter. The supply side is estimated to be on tighter side for higher demand from the downstream industries such as dyes, chemical intermediates, and pharmaceutical industries. Major producers in Asia were revamping production to stabilize the demand. One of the major plants in Japan proposed to expand its capacity to cater to long-term demand growth of region and support the domestic supply.
The largest application of Bromine in the region was from flame retardants. Traders and sellers in the region were heard selling the product at a reduced price to spot buyers, to recover the pandemic-induced losses in Q2. Contract buyers offered reduced rates for the year-end offers. With environment regulation in Europe impending a permanent ban on the use of flame retardants in electronic items by March 2021, the market is likely to lose its segmental share by a significant percentage by the end of Q1 2021. Industrial grade Bromine prices are likely to fall by a huge amount in Q1 2021, compared to this quarter.
Bromine demand in North America remained well support in the last quarter of 2020. Demand outlook seemed resilient for the larger part of Q4 as offtakes improved in tandem with pull in demand from the chemical industries. Regional traders were heard actively restocking for the early 2021 with rising optimism post the roll-out of coronavirus vaccines. The market is assessed to be showing an uptrend in price compared to the last quarter with the positive sentiments in the Bromine-derivatives market.