Type to search

Asian Oil Refineries to Boost Output to Cash In on Boom

European diesel supplies have shrunk following the disruption caused by sanctions imposed on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine

oil refineries
China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC)'s Dalian Petrochemical Corp refinery is seen near Dalian in Liaoning province. Photo: Reuters.


Some Asian refineries plan to increase output in May to cash in on high prices for gasoil exports to Europe, even as the steepest crude prices for 14 years threaten profit margins, numerous trade sources said.

European diesel supplies have shrunk following the disruption of western sanctions imposed on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia is the world’s top exporter of crude and oil products combined, at around 7 million barrels a day, or 7% of global supply, the International Energy Agency said.

Europe relies on Russia for 60% of its diesel imports, Citibank said. Strong European demand has boosted Asian refiners’ profits for producing gasoil for exports to the West.

Gasoil is an intermediate distillate product from oil that is finished into diesel, heating oil and marine fuel, among other products.

However, Asian refiners are also paying record premiums for Middle East crude supplies after the disruption of sanctions left buyers with limited options.

Indian state refiners have increased crude runs to boost oil product exports to offset some of the losses they have incurred for selling gasoline and gasoil at lower rates in the domestic market.

Asia’s top fuel exporter Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical will also raise output, while South Korean refiners are already maximising their exports.

“High product cracks, especially in gasoil, will encourage full capacity refinery runs even if it means exports rather than taking refinery maintenance shutdowns generally planned in Q2,” Hindustan Petroleum chairman MK Surana said.

Last week, Indian Oil bought 9 million barrels of spot crude as it delays maintenance at its Paradip refinery.

“In the current environment, exporting fuel is very attractive but we have to first meet Indian demand,” an official at one of the state refiners said.

Indian refiners, which buy most of their oil under annual contracts, are geared towards maximising diesel output as the fuel accounts for about two fifths of refined products consumed in the country.


  • Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell




Vietnam Refinery Fails to Tap Oil Boom – Nikkei Asia


Asian Oil Refiners Hope for Iran Talks Breakthrough


China to Prosecute Three Oil Refiners for Evading Fuel Taxes




George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


AF China Bond