Import prices of petroleum coke have decreased substantially over the month, though India’s domestically produced pet coke prices have continued to remain unchanged from the rates that prevailed since the start of this month.
Though international pet coke prices were ruling strong from the beginning of this year, Indian market demand for the energy commodity remained subdued as the country’s end-users, mostly cement manufacturers, have been switching to thermal coal or natural gas to avoid pollution issues.
Potential for restrictions on pet coke usage and lingering uncertainty over changing domestic regulations in the first half of this year have subdued demand for seaborne petroleum coke largely exported from the US Gulf Coast. Indian cement makers are seen buying US thermal coal to replace the petroleum coke that they use as a power source for their kilns.
With the viability of pet coke imports under threat, Indian buyers have been unwilling to risk their cargoes being turned away upon arrival at the port. So, they have limited their purchases of pet coke, and instead turned towards thermal coal as a substitute.
Consequently, Indian petroleum coke imports have fallen every month since the start of this fiscal, as the country’s apex court aimed at reducing toxic emissions from the polluting oil refinery by-product.
As per the vessel lineup data compiled by CoalMint Research, India’s pet coke imports have decreased by 38% M-o-M to 0.31 MnT in Sep’18, against 0.50 MnT in Aug'18.
The latest offers for pet coke (6.5% Sulphur) from USA are assessed at around USD 102/MT CNF India, while offers for pet coke (9% Sulphur) from Saudi Arabia are assessed at around USD 98/MT CNF India.
Currently, Indian domestic prices of pet coke are INR 9,650/MT (Reliance Industries Ltd.) and INR 8,370/MT (Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd.).