Franc sand demand is reported
to be strengthening slightly, Fastmarkets IM found in its first
assessment of the fine mesh frac sand market.
Sellers appear to be
cautiously optimistic, suggesting recovering demand and the
closure of a couple of mines was bringing the market back into
balance after a supply glut in the second half of
Demand for frac sand had been
suppressed by a sluggish oil market last year while a shortage
of pipeline capacity and rising logistics costs make fracking
in the Texan Permian basin less profitable.
But one buyer said he was
"not expecting prices to go back to [early 2018 levels] any
Fastmarkets IM assessed the price of Northern
white frac sand, 20/40 mesh, API, ex-works Wisconsin, at
$20-25 per short ton on Thursday February 21, up from $18-25 a
Fastmarkets' newly launched Northern
white frac sand, 100 mesh, API, ex-works Wisconsin price
stood at $25-30 per short ton on the same day, reflecting high
demand for fine mesh frac sand.
Frac sand buyers have
increasingly favored fine mesh sand over coarser grains, a
reversal of market trends five years ago, when coarse sand was
believed to give better results.
The Northern white
frac sand, 40/70 mesh, API, ex-works Wisconsin price was at
parity with the fine mesh material at $25-30 per short,
although once seller reported that prices for that grade were
slightly below those for 100 mesh.
And in the last of the three newly
launched prices, Fastmarkets IM assessed the price of
northernwhite frac sand, 30/50 mesh, API, ex-works
Wisconsin, at $20-25 per short ton.
Fastmarkets launched the new
frac sand prices to better reflect the growing market for
proppants in the United States. The new prices take in the full
range of mesh sizes used in US fracking.
For additional detail on the reasons for
launching these prices, click here.