The sulphur market has been incredibly volatile over the last three years with changes in trading patterns and trade flows, as well as a series of unfortunate supply outages causing prices to spike in the fourth quarters of 2017 and 2018.
But since October 2018, sulphur prices have been on an almost consistent downwards price trend. For example, China’s top-end granular cfr price lost $124/t between 18 October 2018 and 19 December 2019.
There are several factors that have contributed to sulphur prices falling to 10-year lows but two key elements are the developments in the Chinese market, with China being the biggest sulphur importing country taking receipt of 10.9mn t in 2018. And prices in the phosphate fertilizer market have been falling for around 17 months as nearly 60pc of global sulphur consumption is used for the production of fertilizers — and of that 60pc, around 90pc is used for the production of phosphoric acid.