Trade and shipping data have shown that Indian companies have begun importing large quantities of petroleum coke from Venezuela. A byproduct of oil upgrading, petroleum coke proves to be an inexpensive alternative to coal, particularly following the latest surge in coal prices.
In addition to providing significant cost savings, the rising imports of petcoke can also prove to be an effective way for India to access materials from Venezuela that are not being specifically targeted by U.S. sanctions.
From April to June, Indian cement companies imported at least four cargos consisting of a combined 160,000 tonnes of petroleum coke, Refinitiv ship tracking data showed. A 50,000-tonne cargo is scheduled to arrive at the port of Mangalore shortly while an additional 30,000-tonne shipment is scheduled to depart for India in late August.
Rising Indian exports may prove profitable for Venezuela; a nation that is seeking to boost its imports of petrochemicals and other oil byproducts. The South American nation is well positioned to win over customers from established industry leaders due to its competitive pricing.
“The quality of petcoke is very good and it has very low sulphur,” Ramco Cements Chief Financial Officer S. Vaithiyanathan state in justification of the move from coal to petcoke.