During the first two months of 2019, Paria Fuels imported 448 million litres of petroleum products to service both the domestic and regional markets, previously supplied directly from the now mothballed Pointe a Pierre refinery. Most of the imported fuel went to service the local Trinidad & Tobago market, with a total sales volume of 213 million litres over the two months, with a further 190 million litres being re-exported. The balance of the imports would be held as inventory for later sales.
The imported diesel and 92 RON gasoline (Super) was mainly sold onto the domestic Trinidad & Tobago market, with 62% of the diesel imports and 88% of the “Super” gasoline imports being sold locally. In contrast, most of the imported 95 RON gasoline (“Premium”) and jet fuel was subsequently re-exported, with 84% of the RON 95 gasoline being re-exported and 77% of the jet fuel being re-exported.
While this is very preliminary data based on just two months of sales, it suggests that in this initial period Paria has managed to maintain Petrotrin’s regional market for high value jet fuel. For the first ten months of 2018, prior to the closure of the refinery, Petrotrin exported approximately 41 million litres of jet fuel per month, compared to an average of 40 million per month of re-exports in the first two months of 2019. For gasoline, however, there has been a significant decline between the Petrotrin refinery exports and the current re-exports: for the first ten months of 2018 the refinery exported approximately 134 million litres of gasoline per month, compared to an average of about 35 million litres of re-exports per month in the first two months of 2019 (the data from 2018 and earlier does not provide a breakdown in gasoline exports by grade).
Without knowing the relative margins on the purchase and re-export compared to the previous refinery margins, it is impossible to determine whether these changes in volumes of export sales are good or bad for the overall success of Paria and the Trinidad Petroleum Holdings.
The data on imports and exports of petroleum products is contained in the Ministry of Energy’s regular monthly bulletins.