INDIA'S LPG IMPORTS UP
PLATTS - 05 Nov 2020 - India's LPG imports surged 32.5% month on month to 1.643 million mt in September, Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell data released Nov. 4 showed, posting a second consecutive month of increase and reaching the highest monthly volume in at least five years as importers returned to the market.
The imports were also up 4.5% year on year, the PPAC data showed.
This came as domestic LPG production rose 1.88% on month to 923,000 mt, but remained below the 948,000 mt produced in July, the data showed.
The rise in imports came despite India's LPG consumption edging down 0.26% on month to 2.267 million mt in September after several consecutive months of increase, although it was up 4.8% year on year, the PPAC data showed.
The dip in September demand was due to a logistical pause and India's LPG demand and imports were each forecast to grow 1%-2% in 2021, with LPG connection coverage set to surpass 99% by end 2020, a source with a state oil company said.
S&P Global Analytics expects India's LPG demand to reach 27.2 million mt in 2020, with imports reaching almost 15.2 million mt and domestic production from refineries and gas processing plants around 12.12 million mt. Platts Analytics expects demand for 2021 to be around 28.3 million mt and imports in the range of 15.6 million-15.7 million mt.
SECOND MONTH OF RECOVERY
India's LPG imports started recovering in August, rising almost 25% month on month to 1.241 million mt, following two months of declines, PPAC data showed, after inventory was drawn down and port congestion eased.
State-run Indian Oil Corp. and Bharat Petroleum Corp. each bought spot LPG cargoes via tender late August for September and October deliveries after a two-month hiatus as stocks tapered off and ahead of festive season demand in November. The country starts Diwali celebrations Nov. 12.
IOC has not subsequently sought spot cargoes for November and December, but on Nov. 5 issued a term tender for January-December 2021 seeking 288,000 mt of firm butane cargoes, plus 144,000 mt of optional butane parcels for delivery to Kandla in northwest Gujarat state. The tender, which closes Nov. 9 with two-day validity, also seeks 192,000 mt of firm propane lots and 96,000 mt of optional propane parcels.
This tender is on top of another term import tender for January-December 2021 supply that IOC awarded in September to Turkish trader Nayegan at a discount of around $3/mt to Saudi contract prices for the month of loading, FOB, trade sources said.
That tender is for one 44,000-46,000 mt of evenly split LPG cargo to be delivered each month over January-December 2021, to Ennore on the east coast and Haldia on the northeast coast.