* High North Asian refinery runs, soft demand support
* Brazilian diesel imports to stay firm as economy expands
* Goods moved mainly by diesel-powered trucks in Brazil
(Adds details, background, comments)
By Francis Kan
SINGAPORE, July 4 At least 350,000 tonnes of
North Asian diesel have been booked for shipment to Brazil for
loading in the past month as demand for the fuel surges to meet
growing industrial activity in South America's largest economy,
ship brokers and traders said on Monday.
Brazil's diesel fuel demand rose 11.2 percent in 2010 to
nearly 850,000 barrels per day, tracking a robust 7.5 percent
gross domestic product growth rate. The economy is forecast to
expand by 4 percent this year, Brazil's central bank said last
The shipments from South Korea and Taiwan were all chartered
by Brazilian state oil firm Petrobras , and matches
the volume seen in the previous three months, shipping data from
two shipbrokers showed.
The latest cargo is for 80,000 tonnes of diesel for July 8
loading on the vessel Eternity, according to the data.
"Exports from North Asia have been very high recently due to
huge refinery runs and soft demand at home, so it's not
surprising since Brazil is tight on products," said a
Singapore-based distillates trader.
Brazil usually imports its fuel from the United States, but
with the economy still growing and no major refinery capacity
additions due until 2013 at the earliest, the country will need
to import more from other markets in the next two years,
Petrobras expects to complete upgrades at a number of
refineries by 2014 or 2015, the company's downstream director
Paulo Roberto Costa told Reuters on the sidelines of a
conference in London last month.
Most Brazilian goods move to market in trucks that use diesel
fuel, due to limited alternative shipping methods in the vast
The rising exports come during Asia's peak diesel demand
season and as China prepares to import more of the fuel to meet
expected power shortages in some parts of the country.
"The market has already been strengthening on the China
moves, but if we see more shipments to the West this will lift
the market further," said another trader.
China will lower import duties for diesel and jet kerosene
to zero and also cut those on fuel oil to one percent from three
percent from July 1, a move likely to boost imports of these
fuels as summer power demand grows.
Asia's gas oil market strengthened on Friday, with cracks
rising to a two-week peak near $19 a barrel, while the
July/August contango narrowed to almost parity.
DIESEL FIXTURES TO BRAZIL
VESSEL VOL LOAD PORT
SKS DONGGANG 90KT 5/7 TAIWAN
ETERNITY 80KT 8/7 TAIWAN
SKS DOKKA 90KT 25/6 TAIWAN
SKS DURO 90KT 15/6 S.KOREA
(Additional reporting by Randy Fabi; Editing by Michael