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BPCL seeks gasoline after nearly a year's absence

A private security guard stands in front of the regional head office of oil refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) in Kolkata, India, November 28, 2019. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/File Photo

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - India’s Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd is looking to buy gasoline, a tender document showed, the first import of the fuel it has sought this year based on Reuters data.

Industry sources said the refiner was seeking gasoline as demand has returned, with more people going to work and preferring private vehicles to public transport, while refinery output remains low.

The tender, which closes on Sept. 18, showed that BPCL was looking for 20,000 tonnes of 91.5-octane grade gasoline, with a maximum content of 8 parts per million sulphur, for Oct. 7-11 arrival at Kandla.

Based on Reuters data, BPCL last imported gasoline for October 2019 delivery.

The coronavirus has hit fuel demand this year, with jet fuel being the most heavily hammered, resulting in low refinery output.

Gasoline has received support recently from supply disruptions caused by storms in the United States.

South Korea’s S-Oil also shut a gasoline-making unit earlier this month due to a typhoon, while Taiwan’s Formosa reduced gasoline exports following a fire and weak demand, further lifting the market.

Asia’s gasoline premium to Brent crude on Monday rose to a near three-month high of $4.01 a barrel, about half the value seen a year ago.

Reporting by Seng Li Peng; Editing by Jan Harvey