SINGAPORE: Indian Oil Corp is seeking gasoline, a tender document showed, making it the second refiner from the country looking to plug a gap caused by low crude runs to curb inflating supplies of diesel and jet fuel, industry sources said.
IOC, which does not typically comment on its spot deals, is looking to import 30,000 tonnes of gasoline for Oct. 10-11 arrival at Chennai and Kochi through a tender closing on Sept. 29.
This comes after Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd bought gasoline from an oil major last week for Oct. 7-11 arrival at Kandla, its first purchase this year.India went on a buying spree in 2019 as refineries upgraded to produce cleaner fuels, causing the country’s monthly gasoline imports to hit an all-time high of about 410,000 tonnes in September last year, official data showed.
However, coronavirus lockdowns wiped out most of the demand earlier this year, with India’s August 2020 gasoline imports seen at 30,000 tonnes. “Indian demand for gasoline is (now) super strong. Current (refinery) runs are not adequate and will require some cargoes to be imported in October,” said one of the sources.
But Indian refiners are under pressure to keep output low due to persistent weak demand and bad refining margins for diesel and jet fuel, the source added.