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Exports of US petcoke totaled 3 million mt in January, down 0.9% from December, but up 3.7% from the year-ago month, according to US Customs Bureau data Wednesday.

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Non-calcined, or fuel grade, petcoke exports totaled 2.64 million mt in the month, down 4% from December, but up 1.3% from last year. Calcined petcoke exports totaled 379,435 mt, up 26.9% from December and up 23.7% from last year.

The uncertainty regarding India's potential ban on certain petcoke imports was a likely reason for a substantial drop in exports to that country in January.

Fuel-grade petcoke exports totaled 135,058 mt in January, down from 391,750 mt in the year-ago month. In fact, India was the largest market for US fuel grade petcoke exports last January, but slipped to eighth this year.

Since October, when India imported 816,824 mt of fuel-grade US petcoke, tonnage has slipped in each successive month.

In January, the largest export market for US fuel-grade petcoke was Brazil, at 310,546 mt, up from 126,835 mt last year.

Sources indicate state-owned refiner Petrobras is unable to meet its domestic petcoke demands, which has forced buyers in the state into the seaborne market.

--Andrew Moore, andrew.moore@spglobal.com
--Edited by Richard Rubin, richard.rubin@spglobal.com