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Indonesia plans to import 9 mil barrels of gasoline in Apr, flat from Mar: traders

Indonesia's state-owned Pertamina plans to import around 9 million barrels of gasoline in April, unchanged from the estimate for March, based on a survey of market participants last week.

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Pertamina could not be reached for comment.

The estimates provided by market watchers for April spanned the range of 8.5 million barrels to 9.5 million barrels. They were unable to provide a breakdown of volumes between the three grades of 88 RON, 92 RON and 95 RON.

"The baseline import would likely be closer to 8.5 million barrels, but additional tenders may push the final figure up to slightly more than 9 million barrels," a trading source said.

The higher imports are supported by seasonal demand and the need for stock building prior to Ramadan which starts May 15.

Late last week, Pertamina bought via tender 200,000 barrels of 88 RON gasoline for April 21-23 loading from Singapore or Malaysia at a discount of around $2.50/b to Mean of Platts Singapore 92 RON gasoline assessments, FOB.

In addition, Pertamina also has a term tender to import 900,000 barrels of 92 RON high octane mogas component for delivery over February-June.

The pricing basis and seller were unconfirmed at the time of writing. The term tender has two options -- either 2-3 cargoes/month of 200,000-300,000 barrels each or one cargo every month of 500,000 barrels each.

In 2017, Indonesia imported 7.28 million mt (about 61 million barrels) of gasoline of below 90 RON, down 19.5% year on year, official data showed. Imports of gasoline with an octane value of between 90 RON and below 97 RON surged 80.4% to 6.16 million mt over the same period.

--Chen Weili,

--Edited by E Shailaja Nair,