NeML – IME e-market Platform: A new opportunity for Bitumen Exporters & Importers

Hamed Soltaninejad

On 30th Oct this year, NCDEX e Markets Ltd. (NeML) – India’s largest e-markets company, signed a Memorandum of Association (MoU) with the Iranian Mercantile Exchange (IME) – Iran’s leading Commodities Trade Exchange, for jointly developing and managing an e-market platform for a bilateral trade of commodities between India and Iran. Starting with the trade of Bitumen, this new e-market platform will directly connect Bitumen Exporters and Importers across both the countries seamlessly.

Bitumen, also known as Asphalt, is the main material used in road construction, and the accelerated pace of road construction in India in recent years has opened up vast opportunities for Bitumen imports from other countries. With a record 47,350 kms of roads constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) during FY 16-17, the highest-ever in the last 7 years, road construction has leaped from 73 kms per day during 2011-14, to a whopping 130 kms per day in 2016-17 [1].

As demand outpaced local production, India’s Bitumen imports rose a colossal 823% since 2011 to 905,000 tonnes [2]. With close to 3 million metric tonnes of annual Bitumen exports [3], Iran is the world’s 2nd largest Bitumen exporter, with India accounting for almost 50% of Iran’s Bitumen exports.

The news of NeML – IME’s upcoming e-market platform for Bitumen has expectedly brought a cheer to Indian Bitumen Importers as they can now access Iranian Exporters directly through the platform. As is the case with every e-market platform developed by NeML, the new platform’s enhanced price discovery mechanism is expected to maintain price stability thereby benefitting the entire Bitumen supply chain ecosystem across both the countries.

Sources:
[1] Ministry of Rural Development – http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=160441
[2] Live Mint – http://www.livemint.com/Politics/DNAlmAzr4GSFGqUmyKe2XM/Indias-highway-expansion-opens-up-market-for-global-bitumen.html
[3] UN data – http://www.factfish.com/statistic/bitumen%20asphalt%2C%20exports

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