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Low Europe bitumen prices, costly freight prevent imports from US

July 27/2011

(ICIS) -- Low European bitumen prices and high freight rates have kept arbitrages from the US closed for around two years despite it being considered a key exporter into the region, bitumen shipping industry sources said on Tuesday. A second market participant agreed that arbitrages from the US to Europe have been closed for many months.


The second source added that freight rates from the US to Europe would depend on the area of the US in question. Major US ports are located on the east coast, in the Gulf of Mexico and on the Pacific coast.


This market participant went on to say that to transport 7 KT of bitumen from Baltimore, Maryland, to Europe would cost an average of USD 705.000 (EUR 493.500) to containerise the material, and, based on a transit period of 14 days, it would cost USD 300.000 to charter a vessel.


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