Petroleum coke exports from the US jumped in July as shipments to India, Brazil and Turkey gained by two- to as much as nearly sixfold from a year earlier.
The US exported 3.55mn t of green coke in July, up by 45pc from the same month in 2022, according to customs data compiled by Global Trade Tracker. This was down by just 1pc from June, when exports reached their highest level since January 2020. Valero Energy’s 335,000 b/d Port Arthur, Texas, and Marathon Petroleum’s 593,000 b/d Galveston Bay, Texas, refineries added coking capacity earlier this year.
The year-on-year surge can also be partially attributed to a low base effect: at just 2.45mn t, July 2022 posted nearly a 12-month low, above only April 2023’s 2.43mn t.
China was the top destination for US coke exports in July, with shipments increasing by 74pc on the year to 652,600t. Exports to China also more than doubled on the month, after US Gulf prices fell to a more-than two-year low and summer peak cooling season demand ramped up. Coke from the mainly high-sulphur-producing US Gulf coast region comprised 54pc of shipments in July, up from 36pc the previous month, when shipments of mid- and low-sulphur coke from the US west coast dominated.
Loadings for India totalled 591,400t, up by nearly sixfold on the year. Exports to the South Asian country in July 2022 had been particularly low; volumes for that month were down by 63pc compared with the January-July 2022 average and were 80pc lower compared with the same seven-month average in 2023.
Meanwhile, exports to third-leading destination Japan eased by 12pc on the year to 331,600t. But this was up by 32pc on the month.
The US exported 325,200t of coke to Brazil, more than triple the amount in the same month last year. The year-on-year rise in Brazil-bound exports also may have been caused by lower availability of Venezuelan coke compared with the previous year. Shipments to Brazil fell by 5pc from June.
Exports to Turkey more than doubled on the year as well, with July volumes totalling 257,100t. This was also up by 34pc on the month, with July loadings at their highest level since September. US-origin mid-sulphur coke on a cfr Turkey basis had fallen to its largest discount to coal in nine months as of late-May, when companies would have started booking July-loading cargoes.
But US coke exports to Turkey and Brazil may fall in the coming months, as Venezuelan coke marketers have begun to focus on selling to these two countries over India and China.
View article here.
- On September 14, 2023