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

Reuters

* 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 comingmths

By Jessica Jaganathan

SINGAPORE, Sept 30 (Reuters) - India's Mangalore Refineryand Petrochemicals Ltd has sold 240,000 tonnes ofdiesel and jet fuel for October-December delivery in a rare termtender and is also expected to offer spot cargoes during theperiod, industry sources said on Monday.

India has been exporting more cargoes than usual sinceAugust as its currency plumbed record lows and as heavy monsoonrains dented domestic demand for the fuel, which is often usedin irrigation pumps.

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

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

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

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

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

MRPL is expected to offer at least one or two more spotcargoes a month of each oil product for October, though spotoffers might start to slow post-monsoon in November, sourcesadded.

MRPL, a subsidiary of oil and gas producer Oil and NaturalGas Corp, operates a 300,000 barrels-per-day refineryin southern Karnataka state.

WATERS SUBSIDE

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

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

For instance, Reliance Industries, the country'sbiggest refiner, is expected to ship out about 1.5 milliontonnes of diesel in October, compared with an estimated 1.8 to1.9 million tonnes in September, an India-based source said.

Essar Oil is expected to export about 300,000 to350,000 tonnes of diesel in October, compared with about 500,000tonnes in September, the source added. These estimates could notbe confirmed with the refiners.

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