NEW DELHI/SINGAPORE India's state-run Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd is revising the formula it uses to price naphtha exports to include the mean prices from Argus Media instead of only relying on S&P Global Platts, a tender document showed.
"BPCL is doing this on an experimental basis," said a source familiar with the matter.
The refiner may extend the formula of using a mean of Platts and Argus prices to other products if the naphtha pricing is well received by traders, said the source, who asked not to be identified.
BPCL regularly exports naphtha and fuel oil due to excess volumes, but only ships diesel on rare ocassions.
BPCL has made the pricing changes in its latest naphtha tender, which closes on May 16. The refiner is looking to sell 33,000 tonnes of naphtha for June 4-6 loading from Mumbai and another 55,000 tonnes for June 10-12 loading from the southwestern port of Kochi.
BPCL did not make immediate comment on the issue.
The company on May 4 sold a cargo from Kochi to PetroChina at premiums of about $16 to $17 to Platts Middle East price formula on a free-on-board (FOB) basis.
BPCL joins Indian Oil Corp, which is also using both Platts and Argus prices in their spot sales.
Other Indian sellers such as Mangalore Refinery Petrochemicals Ltd, Oil & Natural Gas Corp, Reliance Industries and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd are using only Platts prices.
Three traders said Argus prices are usually slightly higher than those of Platts.
"Buyers will accept the change as the impact is not major as buyers could place a slightly lower bid factoring in that Argus prices may be higher," said a buyer of Indian naphtha cargoes.
(Reporting by Nidhi Verma in NEW DELHI and Seng Li Peng in SINGAPORE; Editing by Joseph Radford)