Global Imports of Bitumen and Asphalt Fall Despite Increased Supplies to China and the U.S. - Global Trade Magazine
  October 1st, 2021 | Written by

Global Imports of Bitumen and Asphalt Fall Despite Increased Supplies to China and the U.S.

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  • Global bitumen and asphalt imports dropped rapidly to 2.1M tonnes in 2020.
  • The U.S., Romania, China and France were among the few countries that managed to ramp up import supplies.

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Natural Bitumen And Natural Asphalt – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends And Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

Global imports of bitumen and asphalt went down by -15% y-o-y to 2.1M tonnes in 2020. In value terms, imports dropped to $918M. America holds leadership in global imports of bitumen and asphalt. The U.S., Romania, China and France were among the few countries that managed to ramp up import supplies. The average bitumen and asphalt import price grew by +15% y-o-y to $427 per tonne in 2020. Indonesia dominates the Chinese imports, while Greece, Canada and Spain provide the bulk of bitumen and asphalt imported to the U.S. 

Global Imports of Bitumen and Asphalt

Global bitumen and asphalt imports dropped rapidly to 2.1M tonnes in 2020, down by -15.2% against the previous year’s figure. In value terms, bitumen and asphalt imports dropped from $943M in 2019 to $918M (IndexBox estimates) in 2020.

The U.S. (578K tonnes), distantly followed by Saudi Arabia (275K tonnes), Egypt (193K tonnes), France (185K tonnes), Canada (174K tonnes), and China (168K tonnes) were the key importers of bitumen and asphalt, together creating 73% of total imports. The following importers – the UK (92K tonnes), Myanmar (72K tonnes), Romania (51K tonnes) and Viet Nam (48K tonnes) – together made up 12% of total imports.

The U.S., Romania, China and France managed to increase their import volume. Most other countries reduced the purchases from abroad.

In 2020, the U.S., China and Romania featured the highest growth rates regarding import volume. American bitumen and asphalt imports rose from 378K tonnes to 578K tonnes in 2020. Over the same period, China boosted purchases from 112K tonnes to 168K tonnes. Last year, Romania doubled its import volume of bitumen and asphalt, while France saw an 8.4%-increase in supplies from abroad.

In value terms, the largest bitumen and asphalt importing markets worldwide were Saudi Arabia ($320M), the U.S. ($178M) and Egypt ($120M), with a combined 67% share of global imports. France, Canada, Viet Nam, Myanmar, China, Romania and the UK lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 21%.

The average bitumen and asphalt import price stood at $427 per tonne in 2020, with an increase of +15% against the previous year. There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major importing countries. In 2020, Saudi Arabia was the country with the highest price, while the UK was amongst the lowest. In 2020, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Egypt, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Major Suppliers of Bitumen and Asphalt to the U.S.

Greece (166K tonnes), Canada (152K tonnes) and Spain (83K tonnes) are responsible for 81% of total American imports. Turkey (44K tonnes) ranks fourth among the leading suppliers of bitumen and asphalt to the U.S.

In value terms, the largest bitumen and asphalt suppliers to the U.S. are Greece ($53M), Canada ($42M) and Turkey ($38M), together comprising 74% of total imports.

Major Suppliers of Bitumen and Asphalt to China

Indonesia (84K tonnes) dominates the Chinese imports with a 75%-share of the total volume. Malaysia (17K tonnes) and Canada (11K tonnes) follow Indonesia.

In value terms, Malaysia ($5.6M), Canada ($5.2M) and Indonesia ($3.9M) are the largest bitumen and asphalt suppliers to China, with a combined 96% share of total imports.

Major Suppliers of Bitumen and Asphalt to Romania

Poland (33K tonnes) constitutes the largest bitumen and asphalt supplier to Romania, with a 64% share of total imports. Moreover, bitumen and asphalt imports from Poland exceed the figures recorded by the second-largest supplier, Greece (7.7K tonnes), fourfold. Austria (6.3K tonnes) ranks third in terms of total imports with a 12% share.

In value terms, Poland ($9.6M) is the largest supplier of bitumen and asphalt to Romania, comprising 59% of total imports. The second position in the ranking is occupied by Austria ($3M), with an 18% share of total imports. It was followed by Greece, with a 13% share.

Source: IndexBox Platform