Current Bitumen Price – Updated 22 February 2021
New Steel Drums US$340-350 metric ton – Bulk Bitumen US$285-295 metric ton
If you are looking for prices for your next road project then Highways.Today and our global partners can help you source high-quality bitumen and negotiate the best prices, delivered to the port of your choice.
Bitumen prices are affected by the price of the vacuum bottom, which is the base refinery material used in bitumen production. This fluctuates greatly, due to both geopolitical tensions and ever changing shipping regulations, so we can help time your purchase to achieve you the best value and savings.
If you are unsure which grade of bitumen is right for your next project, please feel free to contact us below, and we will be happy to advise you.
Grades of Bitumen
Crude oil variants can produce different types of bitumen, with completely differing properties, so grading bitumen is vital.
For grading bitumen based on their properties, refineries use a number of standard tests to measure the viscosity level, penetration value, performance, and consistency of bitumen. The result of these tests is bitumen penetration grades and viscosity grades.
Other grades of bitumen, including cutback bitumen, oxidized bitumen, and bitumen emulsions are classified based on their production process.
Bitumen penetration grades
Bitumen penetration grades are ideal for paving roads and other surfaces.
For classifying bitumen after production, a penetrometer is used. The device has a needle that penetrates a sampling of bitumen to measure the hardness level of the bitumen. If the needle goes easily into the bitumen sample over a given time, the bitumen is softer, but if it takes longer to penetrate the sample, it is harder.
The softest grade of bitumen penetration is called 100/120, and the hardest 30/40. The grades in between are 40/50, 50/70, 60/70, 80/100, and 85/100.
Bitumen penetration 60/70
Traditionally bitumen penetration 60/70 grade is used on the majority of road projects and is the best option for coating and adhesion of aggregates in a wide range of temperatures from -22oC to +76oC.
Bitumen Penetration 80/100
Another widely used grade of penetration bitumen is 80/100, with a level of hardness that makes it ideal for paving roads in India and Central African countries.
Bitumen Viscosity Grades
Another method of grading bitumen is the viscosity grading system, which classifies bitumen into four categories, VG 10, VG 20, VG 30, and VG 40. Each viscosity grade suits certain applications and performs differently in various temperatures.
Bitumen VG 10
Due to better resistance to temperature changes, particularly in cold regions, bitumen VG10 can achieve higher efficiency in road projects.
As there are only a few bitumen refineries capable of producing VG10 bitumen, this grade of viscosity bitumen will cost slightly more than bitumen 80/100.
Bitumen VG 10 is also widely used in spraying applications and surface coating.
Bitumen VG 30
VG30 offers better quality and performance for road projects when compared to bitumen 60/70, The increased quality makes also makes the price of VG 30 higher.
Bitumen VG 40
Due to a higher viscosity, accuracy, predictability, and durability, VG40 is used in countries with higher temperatures and heavy traffic loads, such as Indian and African countries.
This type of bitumen is an emulsified chemical combination of bitumen and water, developed to mitigate the environmental damage of cutback bitumen, and is beneficiary to waterproofing and coating in the road construction. Bitumen emulsions are safe to handle, easier to transport and cheaper.
Bitumen emulsions are classified based into two main categories: The particle electrostatic charge, and the setting time. According to their electronic charge, bitumen emulsions are either anionic (with a negative charge), or cationic (with a positive charge). The secondary grading system is the time needed for bitumen emulsion to lose water and become sticky enough to bind aggregates.
Bitumen emulsions are perfect for spraying applications, and ideal for pavement maintenance, road rehabilitation processes such as tack coats, chip seals, slurry seals, and micro surfacing.
Bitumen Delivery & Packaging
As bitumen is highly viscous its packaging is very important.
6mm Steel drums are the most common packaging due to safety and consistent quality. The sizes vary depending on volume, height, thickness, and lid type.
A jumbo bag is a large flexible multi-layer bag which is called bitu-plast, bitu-bag, polybag and poly cube. With high resistance and lower costs, these are one of the best types of bitumen packaging available today. Using drums you must heat the bitumen to discharge the bitumen, whereas with jumbo bags all you need to do is tear off the outer layer of the bag and throw the rest of the bag in to the molten furnace.
For convenient transport, heated bitumen tanks are built into standard shipping container frames so they can be transported by trucks and loaded onto cargo ships. These Bitucontainers have heating systems built-in so bitumen can be heated for loading and unloading.
Bulk delivery trade requires dedicated bitumen trucks to pick up the cargo from the refinery, deliver it to a dedicated tanker ship, and then at the destination another bitumen truck will pick up the cargo and deliver it to the construction site. This type of delivery option is cheaper due to bulk capacity, shorter loading times and exchange fluctuations.
As bulk bitumen emits a large amount of carbon during its heating process, some countries like Australia prevent the import of bitumen in steel drums as they believe that the residue of bitumen in drums causes excessive pollution. A problem not associated with multi-layer jumbo bags, which are an environmentally friendly solutions as the inner layer is totally consumable and the outer layer is recyclable.
Bitumen Quotation Form
Please fill out the following form with your bitumen requirements, destinations, any additional information, and your contact details, and we will get back to you ASAP with your quotation.