Jakarta — Indonesia is expected to ramp up gasoline imports this year to surpass 2019 pre-pandemic levels as Southeast Asia’s biggest economy shrugs off the impact of curbs aimed at restricting coronavirus cases.
The largest gasoline importer in Asia is expected to import 140 million barrels of gasoline this year, up from an estimated 91 million barrels in 2020, official data presented by the country’s energy ministry showed on Tuesday. The 2021 level would also surpass pre-pandemic imports of 119 million barrels in 2019.
This predicted spike in Indonesia’s motor fuel imports could provide a boost to the region’s refiners whose profit margins were pummelled by poor demand last year.
Indonesia’s gasoline sales are expected to exceed 2019 levels to reach 233 million barrels this year, the data showed, after tumbling to 176 million barrels in 2020.
Domestic gasoline production is expected at 94 million barrels in 2021, close to 2019 levels but much higher than the 86 million barrels seen last year, the data showed.
(Reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe; Writing by Fathin Ungku and Florence Tan Editing by Ed Davies)