For the Quarter Ending June 2021
In the North American market, marginal fluctuation was observed in the prices of Insoluble Sulphur, especially in USA during Q2 2021. However, the demand from downstream tyre manufacturers remained firm throughout the quarter, as the active winter season increased the demand for winter tyres. Following the revival in supply activities across US, supply of upstream Crude Sulphur gradually improved which led to an improvement in stock availability of Insoluble Sulphur as well. Thus, the overall demand supply gap remained narrow, and traders maintained ample stock availability to satisfy the overall demand. Therefore, despite of several marginal fluctuations, average price of Insoluble Sulphur remained in the range of USD 1740/MT to USD 1760/MT during this timeframe.
Insoluble Sulphur market witnessed firm sentiments during Q2 2021, as the demand from downstream sectors improved initially in the month of April. In China, the demand for Insoluble Sulphur increased effectively from downstream tyre manufacturers in April, which later gained stability during May and June. Meanwhile in the Indian market, as Insoluble Sulphur is a majorly imported commodity, its prices rose effectively during April and May, in effect of rising freight cost and material shortage in the country. However, prices later declined effectively after gaining ample stocks to satisfy the overall requirement of the country. Eventually, prices of Insoluble Sulphur reached USD 1492/MT and USD 1913/MT in China and India, respectively.
Price of Insoluble Sulphur fluctuated in a narrow range across Europe, during Q2 2021. While the demand from downstream tyre manufacturers-maintained stability, however component shortage restrained the tyre demand from the new automotive vehicles. In the meantime, taking cues from European automotive sector, Eastman decided to divest its tyre additive business, which also includes its Insoluble Sulphur brand Crystex, intending to sell the assets of additives manufacturing units to other company.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
The North American market registered slowed demand for Insoluble Sulphur from the downstream sectors during Q1 2021. Freezeout in February created a chaos across the region, which led to shortage of multiple products including raw material Sulphur. Although that didn’t affect the prices of Insoluble Sulphur due to poor demand from the tyre manufacturing sector, despite that the prices of Insoluble Sulphur were seen experiencing marginal gains across the region during this period. The price of Insoluble Sulphur lost its value by USD 25/MT during the quarter and settled at USD 1595/MT during March.
The Asian Insoluble Sulphur market encountered a fair demand from the regional markets, with an upward price trend followed during this quarter. After Lunar year holidays, the Chinese market could see active restocking from the tyre manufacturing sector amidst global shortage of Insoluble Sulphur. In the Indian markets, since Insoluble Sulphur is majorly imported in the country, the prices were primarily affected with surging freight and shipping cost, which surged aggressively during this period. Thus, the prices of Insoluble Sulphur rose by 19.4% in the Indian market, and 9.31% in the Chinese market from January to March 2021.
Europe experienced a growth of 10% in the automotive sector, that enhanced the demand for Insoluble Sulphur from tyre manufacturers across the region. Curtailed refineries operations and lesser output were heard deterring supply in some European countries like France and UK, which affected the supply of Insoluble Sulphur across the region. However, fair demand amid global shortage forced the prices to follow upward path. With the region imposing fresh lockdowns in some key economies, slowdown in tyre manufacturing is anticipated to pressurise the enquiries for Insoluble Sulphur in the near term.
For the Quarter Ending December 2020
During Q4 2020, the Asian market started rising from dull dynamics and headed towards stability. Demand for Insoluble Sulphur rose in tandem with economic recovery in the APAC region. With Indian government’s strict measures to deal with hefty tyre imports, the demand rose appreciably within India especially from the tyre manufacturing sectors. In addition, India’s Continental Carbon announced expansion of its tire manufacturing facility at Uttar Pradesh, India. In December, Chinese rubber demand from the automotive industries increased that supported the sentiments of the additive Insoluble Sulphur.
The European market was struggling to come out of the historic fall in its tyre demand created by the COVID-induced slowdown. The European automobile sector reported improvement in its quarterly sales but still struggled to maintain their demand/supply fundamentals amidst hovering uncertainty in the market. Reduced tyre manufacturing negatively affected the demand for additive Insoluble Sulphur. Multiple plant shutdowns worsened the situation and created lower availability of Insoluble Sulphur in the region.
The North American market experienced healthy revival in different sectors during the final quarter of 2020. Market sentiments were up, as an effect of significant rise in export demand from the Asia Pacific region. Demand of Insoluble Sulphur increased from the tyre manufacturing sector, due to fair improvement in the automotive sales during Q4 2020 compared to Q3 2020. Supply problems, however persisted driven by lesser operations in some regional plants.