Brazil gum turpentine exports down in 2023

  • Market: Chemicals
  • 09/04/24

Brazilian gum turpentine exports in 2023 fell 4.2pc year on year to 26,976t as buyers in the US and France reduced purchases amid high stock levels and softer downstream markets.

Brazilian gum turpentine exports to the US declined by 61.7pc year on year to 2,440t, from 6,284t in 2022, according to data from Global Trade Tracker (GTT). France, another key market, imported 822t of Brazilian gum turpentine in 2023, a 63pc reduction compared to the 2,217t it had purchased in 2022, GTT data showed.

The US was not a significant buyer of South American gum turpentine in 2023 as stocks were elevated and were bought at higher prices in 2022. The supply of crude sulphate turpentine (CST), a competing product, was also ample.

France, previously the second largest buyer of South American gum turpentine, has sharply reduced Brazilian imports in the last few years. A key buyer in the aroma chemicals sector has faced softer downstream demand and high inventories, while also closing a terpene resins, wood rosin and gum rosin facility in the US in 2023.

With the tightening of pine oleoresin feedstock supply in Brazil in the 2023-24 season, Brazilian gum turpentine availability and inventories have become thinner this year, suppliers said.

Brazilian sellers are hopeful that volumes sold into the US will be higher this year compared with the volume the country imported in 2023. Business activity in the US has increased as buyer inventories are lower and Brazilian prices remain competitive compared to 2022 and early 2023 levels.

This year, the US has imported a total of 883t in January and February this year, levels not seen since late 2022. According to GTT data, the US is the second largest buyer from Brazil after India for the January-February period this year.

As Brazil gum turpentine availability is tighter and US demand into aroma chemicals started to rebound this year, prices for the Brazilian product have increased in recent months.

Argus assessed Brazilian Pinus elliottii based gum turpentine spot prices at $2,000-2,100/t fob Brazil port on 1 April, up over 16pc from the $1,650-1,800/t fob Brazil port levels seen on 3 January.

Japan, the third largest buyer in 2023, imported 3,126t, up by 21.8pc year-over-year from the 2,565t in 2022. Japanese imports of Brazilian gum turpentine in the first two months of 2024 are stable at 601t, the same level seen in January-February 2023.

China was the second largest buyer of Brazilian gum turpentine in 2023. Before and during Covid, Chinese demand dropped sharply with purchases declining from 1,044t in 2021 to a record low of only 480t in 2022.

Brazilian exports of gum turpentine to China dropped to almost zero from July 2021 because of competitive pricing from Indonesia and more expensive post-Covid freight rates. But improving shipping economics in 2023 and lower Brazilian gum turpentine pricing enticed Chinese buyers, and imports increased from the record low seen in 2022 to 4,884t in 2023.

Chinese imports of Brazilian gum turpentine have been higher so far in 2024, according to Chinese trade data. China imported 620t in January-February this year, an 11pc increase from the same period of 2023. India, the largest buyer from Brazil, bought 12,509t in 2023, a slight decline from the 12,944t it purchased in 2022. With lower pricing for the Brazilian product this year relative to early 2023, Indian volumes in the first two months of 2024 rose to 2,042t from 1,961t in the same period of 2023.

Sellers in Brazil believe tighter supply can support firm pricing looking forward, but demand from markets like China and India are largely price driven.


Sharelinkedin-sharetwitter-sharefacebook-shareemail-share

Related news posts

Argus illuminates the markets by putting a lens on the areas that matter most to you. The market news and commentary we publish reveals vital insights that enable you to make stronger, well-informed decisions. Explore a selection of news stories related to this one.

News
02/05/24

Canadian rail workers vote to launch strike: Correction

Canadian rail workers vote to launch strike: Correction

Corrects movement of grain loadings from a year earlier in final paragraph. Washington, 2 May (Argus) — Workers at the two major Canadian railroads could go on strike as soon as 22 May now that members of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) have authorized a strike, potentially causing widespread disruption to shipments of commodities such as crude, coal and grain. A strike could disrupt rail traffic not only in Canada but also in the US and Mexico because trains would not be able to leave, nor could shipments enter into Canada. This labor action could be far more impactful than recent strikes because it would affect Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) at the same time. Union members at Canadian railroads have gone on strike individually in the past, which has left one of the two carriers to continue operating and handle some of their competitor's freight. But TCRC members completed a vote yesterday about whether to initiate a strike action at each carrier. The union represents about 9,300 workers employed at the two railroads. Roughly 98pc of union members that participated voted in favor of a strike beginning as early as 22 May, the union said. The union said talks are at an impasse. "After six months of negotiations with both companies, we are no closer to reaching a settlement than when we first began, TCRC president Paul Boucher said. Boucher warned that "a simultaneous work stoppage at both CN and CPKC would disrupt supply chains on a scale Canada has likely never experienced." He added that the union does not want to provoke a rail crisis and wants to avoid a work stoppage. The union has argued that the railroads' proposals would harm safety practices. It has also sought an improved work-life balance. But CN and CPKC said the union continues to reject their proposals. CPKC "is committed to negotiating in good faith and responding to our employees' desire for higher pay and improved work-life balance, while respecting the best interests of all our railroaders, their families, our customers, and the North American economy." CN said it wants a contract that addresses the work life balance and productivity, benefiting the company and employees. But even when CN "proposed a solution that would not touch duty-rest rules, the union has rejected it," the railroad said. Canadian commodity volume has fallen this year with only rail shipments of chemicals, petroleum and petroleum products, and non-metallic minerals rising, Association of American Railroads (AAR) data show. Volume data includes cars loaded in the US by Canadian carriers. Coal traffic dropped by 11pc during the 17 weeks ended on 27 April compared with a year earlier, AAR data show. Loadings of motor vehicles and parts have fallen by 5.2pc. CN and CPKC grain loadings fell by 4.3pc from a year earlier, while shipment of farm products and food fell by 9.3pc. By Abby Caplan Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Find out more
News

US southbound barge demand falls off earlier than usual


01/05/24
News
01/05/24

US southbound barge demand falls off earlier than usual

Houston, 1 May (Argus) — Southbound barge rates in the US have fallen on unseasonably low demand because of increased competition in the international grain market. Rates for voyages down river have deteriorated to "unsustainable" levels, said American Commercial Barge Line. Southbound rates declined in April to an average tariff of 284pc across all rivers this April, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), which is below breakeven levels for many barge carriers. Rates typically do not fall below a 300pc tariff until May or June. Southbound freight values for May are expected to hold steady or move lower, said sources this week. Southbound activity has increased recently because of the low rates, but not enough to push prices up. The US has already sold 84pc of its forecast corn exports and 89pc of forecast soybean exports with only five months left until the end of the corn and soybean marketing year, according to the USDA. US corn and soybean prices have come down since the beginning of the year in order to stay competitive with other origins. The USDA lowered its forecast for US soybean exports by 545,000t in its April report as soybeans from Brazil and Argentina were more competitively priced. US farmers are holding onto more of their harvest from last year because of low crop prices, curbing exports. Prompt CBOT corn futures averaged $435/bushel in April, down 34pc from April 2023. Weak southbound demand could last until fall when the US enters harvest season and exports ramp up southbound barge demand. Major agriculture-producing countries such as Argentina and Brazil are expected to export their grain harvest before the US. Brazil has finished planting corn on time . unlike last year. The US may face less competition from Brazil in the fall as a result. Carriers are tying up barges earlier than usual to avoid losses on southbound barge voyages. Carriers that have already parked their barges will take their time re-entering the market unless tariffs become profitable again. The carriers who remain on the river will gain more southbound market share and possibly more northbound spot interest. By Meghan Yoyotte and Eduardo Gonzalez Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

New US rule may let some shippers swap railroads


30/04/24
News
30/04/24

New US rule may let some shippers swap railroads

Washington, 30 April (Argus) — US rail regulators today issued a final rule designed to help customers switch railroads in cases of poor rail service, but it is already drawing mixed reviews. Reciprocal switching, which allows freight shippers or receivers captive to a single railroad to access to an alternate carrier, has been allowed under US Surface Transportation Board (STB) rules. But shippers had not used existing STB rules to petition for reciprocal switching in 35 years, prompting regulators to revise rules to encourage shippers to pursue switching while helping resolve service problems. "The rule adopted today has broken new ground in the effort to provide competitive options in an extraordinarily consolidated rail industry," said outgoing STB chairman Martin Oberman. The five-person board unanimously approved a rule that would allow the board to order a reciprocal switching agreement if a facility's rail service falls below specified levels. Orders would be for 3-5 years. "Given the repeated episodes of severe service deterioration in recent years, and the continuing impediments to robust and consistent rail service despite the recent improvements accomplished by Class I carriers, the board has chosen to focus on making reciprocal switching available to shippers who have suffered service problems over an extended period of time," Oberman said today. STB commissioner Robert Primus voted to approve the rule, but also said it did not go far enough. The rule adopted today is "unlikely to accomplish what the board set out to do" since it does not cover freight moving under contract, he said. "I am voting for the final rule because something is better than nothing," Primus said. But he said the rule also does nothing to address competition in the rail industry. The Association of American Railroads (AAR) is reviewing the 154-page final rule, but carriers have been historically opposed to reciprocal switching proposals. "Railroads have been clear about the risks of expanded switching and the resulting slippery slope toward unjustified market intervention," AAR said. But the trade group was pleased that STB rejected "previous proposals that amounted to open access," which is a broad term for proposals that call for railroads to allow other carriers to operate over their tracks. The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association declined to comment but has indicated it does not expect the rule to have an appreciable impact on shortline traffic, service or operations. Today's rule has drawn mixed reactions from some shipper groups. The National Industrial Transportation League (NITL), which filed its own reciprocal switching proposal in 2011, said it was encouraged by the collection of service metrics required under the rule. But "it is disheartened by its narrow scope as it does not appear to apply to the vast majority of freight rail traffic that moves under contracts or is subject to commodity exemptions," said NITL executive director Nancy O'Liddy, noting it was a departure from the group's original petition which sought switching as a way to facilitate railroad economic competitiveness. The Chlorine Institute said, in its initial analysis, that it does not "see significant benefit for our shipper members since it excludes contract traffic which covers the vast majority of chlorine and other relevant chemical shipments." By Abby Caplan Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

EU deforestation traceability system to launch in Nov


30/04/24
News
30/04/24

EU deforestation traceability system to launch in Nov

London, 30 April (Argus) — The European Commission is set to unveil an information system to help with the implementation of the EU deforestation regulation (EUDR) in November, but different implementation deadlines for larger and smaller firms may constitute trading barriers in the interim, the senior policy officer at industry association Bioenergy Europe, Daniel Reinemann, told the Argus Biomass Conference. The Due Diligence Statements (DDS) information system will provide a "due diligence statement number and [companies] link it" with the product they are producing and selling to trace the origin of products throughout the supply chain, as required by the EUDR, Reinemann said at last week's conference. Mandatory due diligence under the EUDR for operators and traders selling and importing wood products — among other commodities — into the EU will apply from 1 January 2025 for most operators. But small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will have an extension for the start of implementation of the regulation until June 2025. The different implementation start dates may result in challenges for trading between the two company size categories, Reinemann said. For instance, a small forest operator selling feedstock to a large sawmill would have different levels of requirements to meet in the first half of 2025 when the small operator will not be obliged to meet EUDR requirements, he said. Some operators that lack the logistical and cost capacity to meet the EUDR requirements may decide to exit the market, but "realistically, we do not know how significant that share is", Reinemann said. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has previously commented on concerns over the implementation of this regulation, arguing that it could limit US wood product exports to Europe. Despite the challenges surrounding implementation of the EUDR regulation, "the accountability [it will require operators to have] will give [the public] a lot more faith in the system", Reinemann said. "The regulation will primarily impact forest owners as feedstocks are the first to be targeted," Bioenergy Europe policy director Irene di Padua said in an interview in February. The EUDR will apply to imports of cattle, cocoa, coffee, oil palm, soya, rubber, wood and their derived products to the EU. By Hannah Adler Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

Barge delays at Algiers lock near New Orleans


24/04/24
News
24/04/24

Barge delays at Algiers lock near New Orleans

Houston, 24 April (Argus) — Barges are facing lengthy delays at the Algiers lock near New Orleans as vessels reroute around closures at the Port Allen lock and the Algiers Canal. Delays at the Algiers Lock —at the interconnection of the Mississippi River and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway— have reached around 37 hours in the past day, according to the US Army Corps of Engineers' lock report. Around 50 vessels are waiting to cross the Algiers lock. Another 70 vessels were waiting at the nearby Harvey lock with a six-hour wait in the past day. The closure at Port Allen lock has spurred the delays, causing vessels to reroute through the Algiers lock. The Port Allen lock is expected to reopen on 28 April, which should relieve pressure on the Algiers lock. Some traffic has been rerouted through the nearby Harvey lock since the Algiers Canal was closed by a collapsed powerline, the US Coast Guard said. The powerline fell on two barges, but no injuries or damages were reported. The wire is being removed by energy company Entergy. The canal is anticipated to reopen at midnight on 25 April. By Meghan Yoyotte Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Generic Hero Banner

Business intelligence reports

Get concise, trustworthy and unbiased analysis of the latest trends and developments in oil and energy markets. These reports are specially created for decision makers who don’t have time to track markets day-by-day, minute-by-minute.

Learn more