SINGAPORE/NEW DELHI Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd is seeking diesel for import into the country for the first time in many years, at a time when demand for the fuel is rising in the domestic market, industry sources said on Friday.
It was not immediately clear why HPCL was in the spot market seeking diesel. But its spot requirements could boost Asian diesel margins, traders said.
While India remains a net exporter of diesel, its state-owned refiners have not imported diesel for many years as their increased production has been able to meet domestic demand.
But a rise in construction activity in the country has been pushing up demand for the industrial fuel at a time when economies in other countries are slowing and surplus of the fuel is building, traders said.
In its tender, HPCL is seeking two cargoes of 30,000 tonnes each of diesel with 40 parts per million (ppm) and 300ppm sulphur for delivery to Mundra from Feb. 29 to March 5, they said.
The cargoes will be purchased either on a free-on-board (FOB) or cost and freight (CFR) basis.
The tender closes on Feb. 17 and is valid until Feb. 18.
The company last imported diesel in 2010, an industry source said.
India's annual fuel demand in January rose at its fastest pace in three months, with consumption of gasoil or diesel, which comprises about 40 percent of refined fuels used in India, rising nearly 8 percent to 6.28 million tonnes.
(Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; Editing by Himani Sarkar and David Evans)
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