Japanese refiners to cut products output

Eric Watkins
Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 16 -- Three Japanese refiners, who control some 35% of the nation's refining capacity, plan to cut their output by the end of the year due to reduced demand for fuels.

Showa Shell Sekiyu KK will cut production by 4.4% for the remainder of 2008, while Cosmo Oil Co. will reduce output during the fourth quarter—possibly by 2%.

Idemitsu Kosan Co. said it also would reduce output in the face of declining demand in Far East markets, but has signed a contract to export gas oil to Mexico (OGJ, Sept. 15, 2008, p. 48).

Idemitsu also plans to export gasoline to Mexico and now is in talks with the Mexican government over specifications. "We are telling them that Japanese specifications are fine (for Mexico)," said Idemitsu sales director Seiji Fukunaga (OGJ Online, Sept. 10, 2008).

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