India's MRPL sells diesel, jet fuel in rare term tender

Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:30am EDT

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* MRPL sells Oct-Nov diesel to Cargill, cancels Dec cargo -sources

* Refiner sells jet fuel to Vitol, Trafigura -sources

* India diesel demand low, but expected to pick up in coming mths

By Jessica Jaganathan

SINGAPORE, Sept 30 (Reuters) - India's Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd has sold 240,000 tonnes of diesel and jet fuel for October-December delivery in a rare term tender and is also expected to offer spot cargoes during the period, industry sources said on Monday.

India has been exporting more cargoes than usual since August as its currency plumbed record lows and as heavy monsoon rains dented domestic demand for the fuel, which is often used in irrigation pumps.

MRPL, which normally sells jet fuel and diesel cargoes in the spot market each month, has now likely done three-month term deals due to weak domestic demand, the sources said.

The state-owned refiner sold two diesel cargoes for October and November loading to U.S. trader Cargill at a premium of about $2.60 and $2.10 a barrel above Middle East quotes, the sources said.

Cargill is likely to ship the cargoes to Saudi Arabia to meet its term requirements, one of the sources said.

MRPL cancelled a diesel cargo for loading in December that it had earlier offered, as the refiner may be anticipating a pick-up in domestic demand when the monsoon season is over and ahead of elections, a second source added.

MRPL sold a jet fuel cargo for loading in October to western trader Vitol at a discount of about 55 cents a barrel to Singapore quotes, and two cargoes for loading in November and December to trader Trafigura at a discount of 75 cents and 50 cents a barrel, sources said.

MRPL is expected to offer at least one or two more spot cargoes a month of each oil product for October, though spot offers might start to slow post-monsoon in November, sources added.

MRPL, a subsidiary of oil and gas producer Oil and Natural Gas Corp, operates a 300,000 barrels-per-day refinery in southern Karnataka state.

WATERS SUBSIDE

Diesel consumption in India, which makes up over 40 percent of local fuel sales, is expected to pick up over the next few months as the heavy monsoon hastens its retreat this week, industry sources said.

Maintenance at several public sector refineries has also increased the amount of diesel they buy from private refiners, which they then offer to their customers. That in turn has curbed volumes available for export from private refiners.

For instance, Reliance Industries, the country's biggest refiner, is expected to ship out about 1.5 million tonnes of diesel in October, compared with an estimated 1.8 to 1.9 million tonnes in September, an India-based source said.

Essar Oil is expected to export about 300,000 to 350,000 tonnes of diesel in October, compared with about 500,000 tonnes in September, the source added. These estimates could not be confirmed with the refiners.

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