WEPEC Refinery in China Will Send 900,000 Barrels of Gasoline to Mexico

Reuters, July 18, 2019

China’s West Pacific Petrochemical Corp, or WEPEC, is set to export 900,000 barrels of gasoline to Mexico this month amid a swelling glut of the motor fuel at home, according to an industry source with direct knowledge of the matter.

The three 300,000-barrel cargoes will make up WEPEC’s biggest monthly shipment to the Latin American country, said the source, who asked not to be named.

The 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) Dalian-based refinery, one of China’s main export-focused refineries, first sent gasoline to Mexico in the second half of 2018 as it looked for markets beyond Asian oil hub Singapore, its traditional export destination.

The lower-grade export fuel, which has an octane number of 91, is produced by blending lower-grade gasoline with naphtha, said the source, without giving further details.

Mexico has become increasingly dependent on fuel imports, mainly from the United States, due to a fall in domestic output because of longstanding refinery problems, forcing state-run Pemex to import nearly 600,000 bpd of fuel last year.

The WEPEC refinery, operated by state oil and gas major PetroChina, is one of China’s largest gasoline exporters with monthly overseas shipments estimated at some 1.3 million barrels, said the source.

PetroChina did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

China is facing a growing overhang of refined oil products after the start-up of two new mega plants coincided with a slowdown in domestic demand, forcing some refineries to scale back output.

(Reporting by Chen Aizhu; editing by Richard Pullin)

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