Fastmarkets’ price assessment for iodine, 99.5% min, contract, delivered
US/Europe, cif Asia, was $34-37 per kg on Thursday June 25,
narrowing upward from $30-37 per kg one month earlier.
Market sources said that there was no material available on
the market at prices of less than $34 per kg, while $37 per kg
was widely reported. Many market participants were keen to see
stability in prices, rather than any potential decreases, which
they did not believe would lead to a revival of demand.
There were reports of offers at prices down by $0.50-$1.00
per kg, because some buyers had stepped back from the market
and slowed their purchasing, but this did not have any
significant effect on trading.
Most market participants told Fastmarkets that the
derivatives sector - chemicals used for agriculture, and for
industrial and pharmaceutical purposes - had seen a reduction
in demand, with many consumers either unable to shop for
products in the way they usually would, due to Covid-19-related
lockdowns, or without the confidence to do so.
This included products such as LCD screens, in addition to
the dramatic drop in aviation and the suspension of the
automotive sector, which had reduced demand for products such
as vehicle tires and nylon.
The contrast-media sector reported acceptable demand levels,
however, with postponed non-essential medical procedures now
For products such as disinfectants, a small increase in
demand had been reported, although some market sources reported
a dip in demand for products such as hand gels, with consumers
opting for cheaper materials.
As a result of this decrease in demand, some buyers were
postponing purchases while others did not expect to step back
into the market again before September.
"The market is quiet, and normal trade routes are more
difficult than usual. Some players have full stocks, and the
demand-versus-supply ratio is on the side of supply. If they
wait, the price will drop. The half-year contract prices are
stable," a distributor said.
"We bought heavily at the end of [the January-March] quarter
and have more inventory than we need. We were fearful of supply
chain interruptions, so bought ahead," a second distributor
"We had a good April, there was stockpiling, but now there
is less travel, less automotive, [and] we’ve seen
a 20% decrease in iodine usage," he added. "If demand is not
there, it’s not there. A price decrease would be a
bad thing for us, because of our inventory. Everyone is now
competing for the same business. We had some cancellations
and… we don’t see any robustness to the
While sentiment was not positive among some market
participants, others saw an opportunity to build up
"Everyone is trying to assess the effects of the [Covid-19]
pandemic, [and] there are positive signs from India that demand
is picking up again. In some sectors, there is a drop in
demand, but other sectors are not affected," a producer source
"We expect to sell less but this will not affect the
pricing," he added. "Stock levels were very low [and] now we
can rebuild stocks but sacrifice some sales. We expect demand
to pick up rapidly after the crisis - the world will need more
iodine. We were anticipating an increase in the half-year
contracts but that was cancelled."
On the weekly market, Fastmarkets’ price
assessment for iodine, 99.5% min, spot, delivered US/Europe,
cif Asia, was unchanged at $35-39 per kg on Thursday.
Many market participants noted that prices had stopped
moving upward in pursuit of the $40 per kg price goal that,
before the pandemic set in, many had expected to see by the end
of 2020. But again, they were keen to achieve stability in the
price rather than see any downward movement.