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Asian refiners are shipping growing volumes of gasoline to the United States as demand soars, Bloomberg has reported, noting that exports of fuels to the U.S. has increased most substantially from Indian refiners.
“The tightness in the Atlantic Basin, especially in the US, should continue to see Asian gasoline barrels pulled West,” according to Dylan Sim, an analyst at FGE, who spoke to Bloomberg. “This will mainly come from India, with several major refineries in the country postponing their planned maintenance to August-September.”
In March, according to the Bloomberg report, India’s gasoline exports soared to the highest in five years, at 1.6 tons. Controlled prices for the fuel on the domestic prices are acting as an additional incentive for oil processors to ramp up exports, the report also noted.
Meanwhile, India is gobbling up discounted Russian crude. Russia became the fourth-largest supplier of crude to Indian refiners, with expectations for further increases in the amount of crude that Russian sellers will ship to Indian refiners, Reuters reported earlier this month.
The share of Russian crude in India’s import mix rose from about 4 percent to 6 percent last month, with the daily average at some 277,000 bpd, up sharply from 66,000 bpd in March.
Indian refiners, according to Bloomberg, are planning to postpone their scheduled maintenance for later this year to continue robust exports to the U.S. where summer driving season is starting soon. Demand is expected to increase in tune with the usual seasonal pattern despite record-breaking prices.
The U.S. national average hit $4.567 a gallon this week, an all-time high, with the California average at $6.05 per gallon. Even at these prices, U.S. drivers are better off than some of their European fellows, who saw the average price of gasoline soar to over $9 per gallon in Denmark and Norway.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.