About: Asphalt refers to a semi-solid form of petroleum that is sticky, black, and highly viscous in nature. It is classified as a pitch. It may be found in natural deposits, like the Pitch Lake, or may be obtained as a refined product. It is most widely used for road construction, where it is used as a binder to create asphalt concrete upon its combination with aggregate particles. Its other significant application involves its use in the production of bituminous waterproofing products, like roofing felt, flat roofs sealant, etc.
Get the latest insights on price movement and trend analysis of Asphalt in different regions across the world (Asia, Europe, North America, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa).
In the previous quarter, when the crude oil prices reached a record-breaking high in the international market, it affected the asphalt prices too.
Later, the prices started to stabilize in the Chinese market because of reduced industry demand. Due to the decrease in crude oil prices and renewed production, the supply and demand dynamics became stable. Per ton price of asphalt averaged 4575 RMB and the domestic market remained sluggish.
The rising crude oil and natural gas prices amidst the ongoing conflict affected energy and allied sectors. However, the bitumen and asphalt sectors felt the most destructive effect. With many refineries such as ATPC (Antwerp) and Shell (Netherlands) shutting down operations, the price of asphalt drifted towards the higher end of the scale.
In line with the European trends, the price of asphalt in the US domestic market is constantly increasing. The prices averaged 687.50 USD/MT Eastern and Western Montana and 737.50 USD/MT Portland.
For the First Quarter of 2022
In March 2022, prices were 3977.20 RMB/MT in China. In terms of regions, asphalt price increase in East China was the most noticeable, owing to a cumulative increase of 550 RMB/MT in Sinopec's pricing over the week. The price in South China increased by 500 RMB/MT, while Maoming Petrochemical and PetroChina Gaofu increased by 600 RMB/MT. In Northeast China, asphalt prices increased by 450 RMB/MT and 300 RMB/MT in North China. This was mostly due to the impact of crude oil prices, which resulted in a noticeable price increase. However, as crude oil prices plummeted, prices in some regions of the North declined as well.
For the Fourth Quarter of 2021
In Asia, the crude oil prices hit almost 80-83 USD/barrel in the beginning of the final quarter of 2021 as a result of rebound in demand after the pandemic which led to an inflation in the prices of several crude oil related commodities like asphalt. Oil prices increased to almost double on a year-on-year basis as low production was reported in the OPEC even though the global oil demand continued to increase affecting the prices of downstream products like asphalt. As a result, asphalt prices in November were recorded at a high of 582 USD/MT in China.
Europe was facing natural gas supply shortages during the final quarter of the year amidst high demand which contributed to the global rise in price of crude oil thereby impacting the price in the region.
The compound’s inventories in North America were running low during the final quarter of 2021. Crude oil prices increased by 2% in December, witnessing a rise to 72.38 USD/barrel in US West Texas Intermediate prices. The crude oil prices were increasing as economies recovered from the pandemic and vaccination rates increased which surged the demand for petroleum products in the global market. This in turn affected the prices for downstream derivatives like asphalt.
For First, Second and Third Quarters of 2021
The oil demand in Asia had dropped in the first three quarters of 2021 as the coronavirus cases resurged in India. China dealt with production shortages while crude oil prices fell for the first time in August 2021 since September 2020. However, the supply constraints drove up the upstream crude prices again affecting the production costs of asphalt. The developing countries in Asia, like India are a major consumer of the compound, mainly driven by the demand from road construction projects. As the country recovered from the pandemic in the latter half of the year, the demand for road making commodities expanded. As a result of increased demand, asphalt prices in China rose to 530 USD/MT in the first half of the year.
Oil prices in Europe increased consistently amid the energy crisis in the region and hit the highest price of 80 USD/barrel in September 2021. The value of the pound had fallen against the dollar which led to inflation in the prices of several commodities. The demand for crude oil-based derivatives like asphalt also increased as road construction witnessed demand after economies started to recover after the pandemic.
In the second quarter of 2021, the average price for liquid asphalt was 460 USD/MT. The upstream crude oil prices rose to an average of 73 USD/barrel in June 2021. In August, the crude oil WTI prices witnessed a three year high at almost 75 USD/barrel. The demand was surging in many regions as lockdowns were lifted and people hit the roads. While production was increased, it was not enough to keep up with the rise in global demand for crude oil and its derivatives which ultimately affected its market in the region.
Colombia witnessed a sharp inflation amidst falling value of peso which increased prices for most commodities in the region as the economy struggled to recover after being hit by the pandemic in the previous year. The petroleum production was still affected by the pandemic which impacted the petroleum reserves of the country and in turn affected the prices of petroleum-based products like asphalt.
For the Year 2020
In most developing countries like India, the infrastructure and construction industry was hit by the government-imposed lockdowns and restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic which affected the overall economy of the nation, thereby reducing the investments in construction projects which ultimately led to a decline in the demand. The construction of roads had been halted during the pandemic which caused high inventory levels of asphalt as manufacturers were unable to sell their products due to low demand. The demand had dropped by 25-28% approximately. Asphalt prices in China dropped from 499 USD/MT in January to 340 USD/MT in October.
In European countries, the construction work resumed after the pandemic as most companies resumed operations and also took on new projects which increased the construction activity by 27.9%. In May 2020, construction activities witnessed a surge by 21.2% compared to the previous month but had decreased by 10.3% as compared to the same period in last year.
The market in 2020 was impacted by the covid-19 pandemic as it affected the equipment used in the manufacturing of asphalt. The pandemic had hit most sectors of development and infrastructure. Its demand went down in North America as a lot of construction activities were halted in the region. In Boston, all construction sites had been shut down in March 2020.
Latin America had limited consumption of asphalt in 2020, amounting to only 8% of the total global consumption.
Procurement Resource provides latest prices of Asphalt. Each price database is tied to a user-friendly graphing tool dating back to 2014, which provides a range of functionalities: configuration of price series over user defined time period; comparison of product movements across countries; customisation of price currencies and unit; extraction of price data as excel files to be used offline.
Procurement Resource provides prices of Asphalt for several regions around the globe, which are as follows:
Asphalt is produced by separating it from other components in crude oil including naphtha, gasoline and diesel, through the process of vacuum distillation. In this process, it is obtained as the "heavy" fraction with a boiling point greater than 500 °C.
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