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India: recent ban on petcoke use may be relaxed


The Indian Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change told the Supreme Court of India in a statement Monday that a ban on petcoke usage may be relaxed for power generation and cement manufacturing, Platts reports.

A previous court order banned petcoke use for the states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan, with restrictions also in the state of Gujarat. The supreme court had been due to issue a final ruling and action plan on the ban on Monday but made no statement, with market observers suggesting that it has been postponed until December 11.

The initial ban caused trading activity for petcoke to greatly reduce as players didn’t want to be caught with cargoes they could no longer sell/consume and many decided to wait for the announcement on December 4.

Should the ban be upheld, market sources expect US NAPP coal to serve as the most suitable replacement due to its high calorific value. However, sources said the strong demand for NAPP coal recently had somewhat constrained supply, and there was speculation that the additional demand for this coal to replace petcoke would create too much upward pressure on pricing.

Sources also said high CV South African and Russian coal could also be viewed as possible alternatives, creating more bullish speculation for these coals in recent weeks.

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