The Philippines, Southeast Asia’s largest diesel importer, took in 170,000 b/d of diesel in Q2 2019, at least a 3-yr high, according to Vortexa data. June’s imports of 200,000 b/d were the highest so far this year.
Robust domestic demand coupled with lower refinery supply from the shutdown of 180,000 bbl/d refinery in Limay, Bataan, sharply lifted May-June imports.
The refinery was shut down ahead of planned maintenance initially scheduled from the beginning of May, after a strong earthquake hit the province end-April.
China’s exports to the country were 120,000 b/d in June, more than doubling from January. China is the largest diesel supplier to the Philippines, the latter being its top export outlet.
The Limay refinery is expected to resume operations in July, but no crude bound for the refinery’s crude import terminal has been observed since the last delivery in April.
Shell’s 155,000 b/d Tabangao refinery, meanwhile, the second of the country’s two refineries, received higher crude imports over the last two months (90,000 b/d over May-June), potentially raising refinery runs to meet the domestic supply shortfall.