Bitumen prices were on an uptrend during the second week of January. As crude and demand outlook improves, bitumen and petrochemical prices grow simultaneously. In the Middle East, prices were up about $ 10 after the hikes of crude. Bulk bitumen was in the range of $ 315 – $ 325 and the new steel drum was volatile in the range of $ 395 – $ 405.
In Europe, Africa, and China prices were volatile for $ +5 / -5 in most of the regions. New year holidays are over, and economic activities are back to normal. Experts believe that demand improves during 2022. They also expect some issues for the supply chains which leads to higher prices.
The energy and gas crisis has become a heavier burden on Europe’s shoulders. Asia was not out of the crisis as well. Riots have formed against the price increase in countries such as Kazakhstan. The protests have concerned communities about the crude supply of the country.
Economic reports are illustrating a better situation with real inflation. The Federal Reserve is likely to increase the interest rate in a near future. Although market participants were notified about the possibility of tapering in 2022, stock markets went under pressure by more certainty about the policy.
Omicron has become the dominant variant in the US, Europe, and Asia. India has initiated the booster dose of the vaccine for vulnerable groups as the Omicron surged through the country. Omicron spread pace is highly risky for the governments and vaccines seems unable to stop the outbreak. However, the booster jabs have proved to be more effective. Although some rumours were raising the question about the 4th booster dose, experts declared that it is not time yet.
This article was prepared by Mahnaz Golmohammadian, the Content specialist and market analyst of Infinity Galaxy.