A cement producer in the Philippines is planning to switch from Indonesian coal to petroleum coke this year.
The company has been working on fuel flexibility at two plants for the past year and is currently conducting trials with US west coast cokes.
West coast coke producers are seeking buyers in new Asia-Pacific markets after Chinese tariffs depressed demand, pushing fob prices to record lows in 2019.
Sales to traditional consumers in Japan have increased, but the country has limited capacity to absorb additional supply.
China's recent adjustment on coke tariffs could support fob US west coast coke prices, although the reduction is slight and the duties remain high. And the coronavirus outbreak in China is additionally likely to offset any gains.
The cement producer intends to continue sourcing US west coast cokes for its Philippine plants as long as the discount to Indonesian coal remains.