SINGAPORE, April 24 (Reuters) - Vietnam's fuel importer Saigon Petro is seeking 50,000 tonnes of diesel ahead of a major refinery maintenance in the country, traders said on Monday.
It is seeking five cargoes of 500ppm sulphur gasoil for delivery into Catlai over June 1 to 5, June 8 to 12, June 21 to 25, July 1 to 5 and July 10 to 14, they said.
Sellers have the option to offer the cargoes on a free-on-board (FOB) Singapore, Thailand or Malaysia basis.
The tender closes on April 27, with same-day validity.
Vietnam's imports of diesel are expected to rise ahead of a planned shutdown of the country's sole 130,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) refinery in June, expected to last 52 days.
Sales of diesel have been stronger than usual in Vietnam recently, a fuel distributor in Vietnam said, declining to be named as he was not authorised to speak with the media.
Inventory of diesel from Dung Quat refinery is also short as the refinery has been maximising gasoline production over diesel, he added.
Saigon Petro's import requirement could boost the Asian gasoil margin as spot availability of the oil product is tight amid peak refinery maintenance in Asia, traders said.