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China’s Sulphur Imports Rebound After Last Year’s Deep Drop


China’s Sulphur Imports Rebound After Last Year’s Deep Drop

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘China – Sulphur – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights‘. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

China leads in global sulphur imports, with a 28%-share of the total supplies. This year, Chinese sulphur purchases from abroad have shown a sign of recovery after a deep drop last year. In the first four months of 2021, Chinese imports accounted for $455M against $164M in the same period of 2020. Chinese sulphur purchases fell from $1.3B in 2019 to $0.6B in 2020. The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Iran constitute the largest suppliers to China, with a 49%-share of total import value.

Chinese Sulphur Imports 

China remains the largest sulphur importer worldwide, accounting for 28% of the total supplies. Over the first four months of 2021, Chinese sulphur imports totaled $455M against $164M of the same period of 2019.

In 2020, imports of sulphur into China shrank rapidly to 8.5M tonnes, dropping by -27.2% compared with the year before. In value terms, sulphur imports reduced sharply to $604M (IndexBox estimates) in 2020.

The United Arab Emirates (2M tonnes), South Korea (1.1M tonnes) and Saudi Arabia (962K tonnes) were the main suppliers of sulphur to China in 2020, with a combined 47% share of total imports. Iran, Japan, India, Qatar and Russia lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 38%.

In value terms, the United Arab Emirates ($156M) constituted the largest supplier of sulphur to China, comprising 26% of total imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Saudi Arabia ($75M), with a 12% share of total imports. It was followed by Iran, with an 11% share.

In 2020, the average annual growth rate of value from the United Arab Emirates amounted to -33.7%. Supplies from Saudi Arabia (-61.1% per year) and Iran (-51.0% per year) also fell tangibly.

In 2020, the average sulphur import price amounted to $71 per tonne, declining by -36.7% against the previous year. Prices varied noticeably by the country of origin; the country with the highest price was Qatar ($82 per tonne), while the price by South Korea ($50 per tonne) was amongst the lowest. In 2020, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by the United Arab Emirates, while the prices for the other major suppliers experienced a decline.

Source: IndexBox Platform