Indonesia could drive gasoline markets by 2018

By ERIC YEP

Asia-Pacific is expected to turn into a gasoline importer by 2018, driven mainly by shortages in Indonesia that will influence global gasoline prices and draw imports from as far as the Atlantic basin, Wood Mackenzie said in a new statement.

Indonesia is currently one of the largest gasoline importers in Asia-Pacific, but globally the US remains the largest market and imports the vehicle fuel from refineries across Europe and Asia.

This is set to change as Indonesia's gasoline deficit and imports will exceed the US and Mexico, reversing trade flows and replacing the US as the main driver of global gasoline trade and prices, Wood Mackenzie said.

It said Indonesia's gasoline deficit is expected to grow from 340,000 bpd to around 420,000 bpd from 2012 to 2018, while the US and Mexico will see their combined deficit fall from 560,000 bpd to about 60,000 bpd.

"The competition between US and Europe to supply East of Suez markets will act to influence pricing, and we expect Singapore's gasoline prices to strengthen relative to both the US Gulf Coast and Northwest Europe gasoline prices in the long term, to support the arbitrage opportunities from US and Europe to Asia Pacific," Sushant Gupta, head of downstream research for the Asia-Pacific region, said.

Indonesia's gasoline demand up to 2025 is driven by income growth, increased car ownership and government subsidies, but supply is restricted as new oil refineries are unlikely to be constructed before 2018, resulting in shortages.


Dow Jones Newswires

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