Russian petcoke exports to China reached an all-year low in September.
Russia exported only 1,744 tons of petroleum coke (petcoke) to China by rail in September 2016, data compiled by DYM Resources shows. These were the lowest export rates since Russia loaded just 1,600 tons in January.
September exports were thirteen times lower than in July and twice lower than in August.
“China has lost volumes to more attractive destinations in September like the Baltic Sea ports, where about 18,500 tons of petcoke were loaded from three refineries: Antipinsky, Taneco and Perm,” Yury Burenko, senior petroleum coke trader at DYM Resources, commented.
Antipinsky and Perm refineries produce petcoke with a sulphur content below 3 percent, while Taneco loads petcoke with a sulphur content below 5 percent.
Demand for 3 percent petcoke in Western China may have dropped due to price cuts by major Xinjiang province petcoke producer Tahe during the summer months. Tahe refinery produces 4 percent sulphur at its 1 million-ton unit and cut prices to trim high stocks prior to expected environmental checks. China is limiting high-sulphur petcoke usage to improve the ecological situation in the country.
Russia exported 78,400 tons of petroleum coke to China between January and September this year by rail, DYM Resources data shows. Exports reached their peak in June and July, when about 20,000 tons per month were loaded (see chart).