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[SINGAPORE] Malaysia's Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) has stepped up its diesel exports in January and will continue to do so through the rest of this year after it took full control of a joint-venture refinery in Malacca, traders said on Wednesday.
The state-owned oil and gas firm will export an additional 600,000 to 900,000 barrels of diesel a month on top of its current 900,000 to 1.2 million barrels a month, they said.
Petronas bought 47 per cent of Malaysian Refining Company (MRC) from Phillips 66 Asia Ltd, a subsidiary of US energy company Phillips 66, late last year.
It will take over exports of oil products from Phillips 66 and hence increase its overall exports of diesel, traders said.
MRC operates one of two crude distillation units (CDU) in Petronas' 200,000 barrels-per-day refining complex in the southwestern state of Malacca, which mainly processes sour crude.
Petronas operates the other CDU, which mainly processes sweet crude.
Traders expect the impact on Asian gasoil margins to be muted as the overall export volumes of the oil product will remain unchanged.