Indian seasonal paving demand to rise, boosting bitumen
Construction projects are expected to pick up after the Dussehra festival late this month and increase further after Diwali in mid-November, one importer said. India's bitumen consumption has already started to rise, hitting 444,000t in September — 40.5pc higher than the previous month and 38.3pc up from September last year.
Indian road construction and bitumen imports declined during the countrywide lockdown that was imposed from the end of March to early May to curb the coronavirus outbreak. Road projects resumed after the lockdown started to ease but slowed again in July with the onset of the monsoon season, with only National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) projects continuing when weather permitted.
Bitumen consumption fell by 8.5pc to an estimated 2.67mn t in April-September, the first half of the country's financial year, from 2.92mn t during the same period last year, according to data from the oil ministry's Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC).
India's domestic bulk and drum prices are at 21,279-23,379 rupees/t ($290-319/t) and Rs23,679-25,679/t respectively after state-owned refiners cut prices by Rs1,450/t on 30 September. The refiners are expected to revise prices again on 15 October, with the new prices taking effect on 16 October.
(Source: ARGUS MEDIA 14-10-2020)