Wed, Feb 16, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Oil refiner expects better diesel market


Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化), the nation’s only publicly traded oil refiner, expects the diesel market to improve this year as economic growth boosts demand for fuel.

This should be a “better year” for the diesel market than last year, Lin Keh-yen (林克彥), a company spokesman, said yesterday. “It’s a bull market for diesel.”

Diesel accounted for 24 percent of Formosa Petrochemical’s sales in the first nine months of last year and was the biggest single revenue source, according to a Nov. 4 company presentation to analysts.

The fuel producer rose 0.6 percent to close at NT$91.10 in Taipei trading, after declining as much as 2.8 percent.

While the outlook for the full-year has improved, the profit in Asia for turning crude oil into diesel will probably slide from the current US$18 a barrel in the coming months as fuel demand for heating drops, Lin said.

The company’s Mailiao refinery can process 540,000 barrels of crude oil a day.

Formosa Petrochemical owns three naphtha processing plants with a combined annual capacity of 2.935 million tonnes of ethylene, a raw material for plastics, chemicals and synthetic fibers.

The Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics last month revised its GDP growth forecast for Taiwan for this year to 5.03 percent from a November estimate of 4.51 percent because of the global economic recovery.

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