Japan Okinawa refinery closure could cut oil product exports
SINGAPORE, March 30 (Reuters) - Japan's oil product exports are expected to be cut slightly to fill domestic demand after the closure of 100,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) Nishihara refinery on Okinawa, traders said on Monday.
Brazil's state oil company Petrobras said on Saturday that it has decided to shut the refinery it owns on the Japanese island of Okinawa and has started the plan to withdraw.
Oil demand in Okinawa is not big enough for the shutdown of the refinery to have an impact on the island, traders familiar with the Japanese market said.
"I think they will need to import oil products such as jet fuel, but the demand itself is not so big in Okinawa," one of them said.
Last year, the refinery exported 393,000 kilolitres, or 62,490 barrels, of gasoil, 65,000 kilolitres of gasoline and 45,000 kilolitres of fuel oil, a second trader said. It did not export any jet fuel.
The gasoil was exported to Vietnam, Yemen, Kenya and Taiwan while the gasoline to Singapore and fuel oil to China, the trader added.
The closure of the refinery could reduce Japan's oil products exports, though the cut is not expected to be substantial, they added. Japan is a net exporter of oil products such as diesel and jet fuel.
The country's imports of jet fuel could rise during winter as refineries switch yields to maximise production of heating fuel kerosene and produce less jet fuel, they said.
The Okinawa refinery processes naphtha to produce gasoline, a trader said. (Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan, Seng Li Peng and Jane Xie; Editing by Michael Perry)
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