SHANGHAI, Jun 24 (SMM) - According to customs data, China's petroleum coke imports hit a new high of 1.57 million mt in May, an increase of 2.8% month-on-month and 42.01% year-on-year. The import of petroleum coke from January to May 2022 reached 5.5 million mt, far exceeding the 418,900 mt in the same period last year.
Uncalcined petroleum coke with a sulphur content of less than 3% accounted for about 14.17%, mainly imported from countries/regions such as the United States and Romania; other uncalcined petroleum coke accounted for about 85.83%, mainly imported from countries such as the United States and Venezuela.
The United States remained the top source of China’s petroleum coke imports, with import volume from the US at 862,000 mt, accounting for 55%. This was followed by Venezuela with an import volume of 330,500 mt, accounting for 21%.
The import volume of petroleum coke reached a new high in May, mainly because traders rushed to place import orders due to the continuous rise of domestic petroleum coke prices since January. Most of the petroleum coke that was imported in May was ordered in March and April. However, the price of petroleum coke has shown obvious signs of falling back in May. Petroleum coke refineries have also resumed production one after another after completing maintenance. The buying enthusiasm for downstream producers has also decreased with the increase in supply, and most of them restocked only as needed. Up to now, according to incomplete statistics, the petroleum coke inventory across domestic ports is nearly 3 million mt. The current port inventory can sustain production of downstream carbon plants for nearly two months, which coupled with the supply of domestic refineries and the arrival of overseas petroleum coke, the supply surplus is emerging. Under this situation, it is expected that the price of petroleum coke will continue to fall, and the imports will also shrink.