SINGAPORE Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) is seeking 35,000 tonnes of Euro 4 diesel in a rare move to fill a supply void, traders said on Wednesday.
The tender, which closes on March 14, is for a 20,000-tonne cargo to be discharged at Paradeep port on April 9-13, and the remaining 15,000 tonnes to be discharged at Ennore port during the same period.
It is too early to determine whether BPCL will become a regular importer of the Euro 4 grade diesel, traders said, as it depends on price.
But this mirrored an unusual move by Indian Oil Corp (IOC) early last year when it sought to import petrol to cater to growing demand as the fuel was more expensive to buy from local refiners.
IOC, India's top refiner by capacity, went on to become a regular importer of petrol in 2015, adding to the supply tightness that affected the fuel last year.
But its imports have slowed this year following the start-up of its Paradip refinery.
Diesel supply, depending on grades, has been aplenty from Asia to Europe since last year, traders said.
India plans to go straight to Euro 6 diesel (and petrol) by 2020 from the current Euro 4 fuels in major cities and Euro 3 fuels across the rest of the country in a move to combat pollution.
BPCL owns refineries in Kochi and Mumbai.
(Reporting by Seng Li Peng; Editing by Dale Hudson)
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