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Japan Cosmo Oil bypasses S.Korea to buy gasoline from Singapore

Japan’s Cosmo Oil Co bought gasoline from Singapore to plug a supply gap due to refinery maintenance, four traders said on Monday, seeking the fuel at the same time South Korea’s S-Oil Corp was also looking to make a purchase.

Cosmo bought a medium-range tanker of gasoline for August delivery, the traders said. Price details were not known.

A Cosmo spokesman declined to comment, saying the company does not give details on specific trades as a matter of policy.

Cosmo’s demand for a prompt cargo just as S-Oil was also looking to buy gasoline prompted the Japanese refiner to turn to Singapore, where gasoline supplies were ample. S-Oil needed to buy the fuel because its new gasoline-making unit has not reach optimum capacity on schedule.

Japan does not usually buy gasoline from Singapore, and South Korea would have been a more natural, closer source of supply, the traders said.

Singapore’s light distillates stocks, made up mostly of gasoline and its blending components, were at their highest in more than four months at 15.33 million barrels last week. That was just 2 percent below the record volume hit in late March, official data showed.

Cosmo Oil has recently conducted maintenance at its Chiba refinery. It will also be shutting a crude unit at its Sakai refinery around September.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Seng Li Peng in SINGAPORE and Yuka Obayashi in TOKYO; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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