Saturday, December 8, 2007

Thai October fuel demand up 7.4 pct year to year

BANGKOK, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Thai demand for oil products, excluding bitumen and liquefied petroleum gas, rose 7.4 percent in October from a year earlier to 599,815 barrels per day, a Reuters calculation based on government data showed on Thursday.

High world oil prices, reflected in domestic retail prices, continued to cause a decline in sales of premium gasoline, but demand for jet fuel continued to rise, Energy Ministry data showed.

Demand for 95-Octane gasoline fell 24 percent in October from a year earlier as more drivers switched to gasohol, which is subsidised, the data showed.

Sales of gasohol -- a 9:1 mix of 91-Octane gasoline and ethanol -- rose nearly 64 percent from a year earlier, according to the data on the Department of Energy Business Web site (www.doeb.go.th).

Demand for high-speed diesel rose 0.3 percent from a year ago, jet fuel demand up 7.5 percent and fuel oil demand 28.2 percent higher.

The government ended subsidies on gasoline in October 2004 and on diesel in July 2005 after spending 92 billion baht ($2.7 billion) over 19 months. UNIT: MILLION LITRES MONTH RON91 RON95 GASOHOL JPI HSDIESEL FUELOIL TOTAL OCT07 358.5 82.4 179.4 393.2 1,429.5 434.4 2,956.3 OCT06 388.9 108.7 109.6 365.8 1,425.7 338.8 2,752.9 %CHG -7.8 -24.2 63.7 7.5 0.3 28.2 7.4 (1 barrel = 158.99 litres) ($1 = 33.79 Baht) (Reporting by Ploy Chitsomboon; Editing by Michael Battye)

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