US green petroleum coke exports rose in January to the highest since January 2020, reaching the eighth-largest monthly total in data going back more than 20 years. Shipments to Asia-Pacific nearly doubled on the year, and the US also increased dispatches to Europe and Africa.
Exports rose by 43pc on the year in January, at 3.44mn t, according to the latest customs data compiled by Global Trade Tracker. This was also up by 17pc from December last year, but still lower than the record high 3.78mn t in January 2020.
Asia-Pacific remained the largest buying region with its market share expanding to over half of all shipments in January. A total of 1.8mn t shipped to Asian destinations, up from 902,800t in January 2022.
China remained the leading taker of US green coke in January, with shipments to the country rising by 70pc on the year to 608,100t, but this was down by 6pc on the month. China’s share of total exports from the US was at 18pc in January, up from 15pc a year earlier but falling from 22pc a month before. Demand in China was limited by the lunar new year holidays in the country, which traditionally slow trading activity during the period.
Shipments to China from the New Orleans, Louisiana, port district reached 295,800t — the second highest on record after February 2021 — or almost a half of the shipments to China in January. Port Arthur, Texas, also shipped 103,500t of US Gulf coast coke to China during the month, with the remaining 150,000t and 58,900t coming from US west coast and east coast ports, respectively.
India remained the second-largest destination for US coke suppliers. US coke exports to India increased from 24,900t a year earlier to 502,200t, which was also above the monthly average of 338,300t in 2022. Exports to India also rose in January compared with the previous month, with volumes increasing by 24pc on the month.
Shipments to another large consumer in Asia-Pacific — Japan — fell to 192,700t, down by 39pc from January 2022 and by 45pc on the month.
Exports to another key demand center, Latin America, fell. Brazil was the third-largest buyer of US coke, but it cut shipments by almost 24pc on the year to 302,500t, although this was 86pc higher than the previous month. Shipments to Mexico also dropped to 125,200t — the lowest since June 2020 and down from 367,800t a year earlier. Altogether, shipments to Latin American and Caribbean countries dropped by 15pc on the year.
In contrast, the US increased supplies to African countries by 32pc on the year, mostly to North Africa. Exports to Morocco and Egypt totalled 176,600t, up from 171,900t a year before and 93,400t in December 2022. The US also shipped 50,000t to Tanzania in January, for the first time since April 2019.
Exports to European countries also firmed — the US shipped 540,100t to the region, up by 29pc on the year and 30pc on the month. Italy and Spain were two key consumers of coke from the US, while smaller shipments were made to several other European countries.
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- On March 21, 2023