Russia asserted that a Ukrainian drone had crashed nearby on the 373rd day of its conflict with Ukraine. This was the first time Ukraine had used drones to attack Russia. To determine whether the war plan will change, more time is required. The international organization that monitors money laundering and terrorism financing, FATF, simultaneously suspended Russia’s membership while maintaining Iran and North Korea on its blacklist.
Oil prices didn’t break the falling resistance of 80 USD until 2 March 2023 and then they resumed their upward trend, reaching 84.81 USD at the time this report was being prepared, despite reports that some central banks would raise interest rates.
Singapore’s fuel price, meanwhile, experienced a sharp increase on March 1 that rose as high as 28 USD and fluctuating around 435 USD. The bitumen from Singapore and South Korea was also traded for 508 and 455 USD, respectively. Bahrain’s bulk bitumen price, however, held steady at 325 USD.
On March 1, Indian refineries announced that bitumen prices would not change. It appears that the demand for bitumen purchases in India is still present in March given the country’s current shortage of necessities.
The situation in Iran, however, is difficult and quite complex. Foreign buyers anticipated a significant drop in prices, even though the Iranian rial fell by about 35% against the dollar in less than 10 days. This belief not only came true but also a significant increase in costs was noted and vacuum bottom competition exceeded over 100% for the first time.
It indicates that the bitumen producers paid two times the base price for the vacuum bottom they purchased. Other factors that could contribute to a further increase in bitumen prices include a lack of raw materials, rising production costs, the impending New Year’s holiday, and the potential for an increase in port operation fees. The delivery schedule is currently the second and most pressing problem, following the bitumen prices, which are exerting significant pressure on the exporters.
The impressive decline in ocean freight from the main ports of China to other destinations is the only good news whose effects on the export markets can be seen shortly. It is likely that as a result, shipping costs will change globally. According to the China Containerized Freight Index (CCFI), the average price of a Chinese export container has dropped by 50% since February 2022 and was 1,730 seven weeks ago.
Finally, it should be noted that the export process is experiencing more difficulties than it did last month. Our team continues to advise market activists to carefully monitor market changes before making their purchasing decisions.
This article was prepared by Shirin Yousefi, the Content specialist and market analyst of Infinity Galaxy.