July 23, 2021

Seven Countries Move Up in Top 100 Ranking on Gasoline Sulfur Limits

Stratas Advisors

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Stratas Advisors’ annual Top 100 ranking again confirms the continued worldwide movement toward lower sulfur content in gasoline and cites several countries that have positioned themselves through policy initiatives to make advances in this area in the near future. However, aspects other than sulfur reduction — among them benzene, aromatics, olefins and volatility — are important in determining gasoline quality as well as influencing vehicle emissions.

The last ranking was carried out in June/July 2020 and this year’s ranking was assessed as of July 1, 2021. EU countries continue to dominate the Top 40, as they were required to implement 100% market penetration of sulfur-free (less than 10 ppm) fuels since January 2009. Germany, which led the way with full market penetration in 2003, continues to reign at No. 1.

Only seven countries moved up or were newly added to the 2021 ranking, which were fewer than the 15 countries in the last ranking (see Insights, July 2, 2020). These include:

  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • Fiji
  • Guyana
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Panama

Out of these seven countries, five were newly added or entered the Top 100 for the first time in 2021. They include Brunei, Cambodia, Guyana, Lebanon and Panama. Most of them moved up the ranking due to leapfrogging by implementation of new sulfur limits ranging between 10-150 ppm over 2010-2021, or voluntary supplied lower sulfur gasoline. The countries that required a mandatory reduction of gasoline sulfur limits include Cambodia, Fiji, Guyana, Lebanon and Panama. As for Brunei and Laos, they do not regulate fuel quality but voluntarily supplied 10 ppm sulfur gasoline onto their markets in 2020 by the new refineries commissioned in both countries. This allowed them to co-rank at the 59th place despite the absence of a sulfur limit. Lebanon jumped the farthest and highest to 44th place with 93 places, followed by Brunei with 75 places to rank at 59th place and Cambodia with 71 places to rank at 80th place. In addition, Guyana was newly added to the Top 100 ranking at 86th place as it was missed out in previous rankings.

As a result of continued introduction of 50 ppm and below, five countries of Seychelles, Paraguay, Qatar, D.R. Congo and Cameroon dropped out of the 2021 ranking. It is also worthwhile to note that even with a new annual average sulfur limit of 10 ppm implemented since Jan. 1, 2017, Canada and the U.S. dropped in their rankings. Many of the other countries that dropped in the rankings including top gasoline markets such as Brazil and Mexico did not alter their gasoline specifications but were simply passed by others that implemented stricter sulfur limits.

In the 2021 ranking, two countries of Panama and Colombia co-rank at the last place (99th) with a national sulfur limit of 150 ppm. This signifies that gasoline sulfur levels are rapidly dropping in recent years, as the sulfur limit of the country ranked at 100th place was 300 ppm in the 2020 ranking and 500 ppm in the 2019 ranking. It is also worthwhile noting that despite both Panama and Colombia reducing their sulfur limits to 150 ppm in 2021, the ranking for Colombia dropped by 1 place. This is because it was surpassed by other countries in the ranking that have moved much lower to 50 ppm sulfur gasoline or below.

Even though cities and provinces are not officially ranked, it is worthwhile to note that a number of cities require gasoline with lower sulfur of 50 ppm and below ahead of the rest of the country. For example, Iran supplied 10 ppm sulfur gasoline in Tehran and seven other major cities since March 2018, alongside 50 ppm, while the rest of Iran is currently required to meet a maximum sulfur limit of 1,000 ppm.

Maximum Gasoline Sulfur Limits (2021)

Maximum Gasoline Sulfur Limits (2021

Source: Stratas Advisors, July 2021

2021 Top 100 Gasoline Sulfur Ranking

Rank

Country/ Territory

Change

1

Germany

+0

2

Japan

+0

3

Austria

+0

Denmark

+0

Estonia

+0

Finland

+0

Hungary

+0

Sweden

+0

9

Albania

+0

Belgium

+0

Bulgaria

+0

Cyprus

+0

Czech Republic

+0

France

+0

Greece

+0

Iceland

+0

Ireland

+0

Israel

+0

Italy

+0

Latvia

+0

Liechtenstein

+0

Lithuania

+0

Luxembourg

+0

Malta

+0

Netherlands

+0

Norway

+0

Poland

+0

Portugal

+0

Romania

+0

Slovakia

+0

Slovenia

+0

South Korea

+0

Spain

+0

Switzerland

+0

United Kingdom

+0

36

Turkey

+0

Macedonia

+0

38

Hong Kong

+0

39

Croatia

+0

40

Montenegro

+0

41

Taiwan

+0

42

Serbia

+0

43

Belarus

+0

44

Lebanon

+93

Russia

-1

46

Armenia

-1

China

-1

Georgia

-1

Macau

-1

Mayotte

-1

Singapore

-1

52

Ukraine

-1

New Zealand

-1

54

Moldova

-1

Oman

-1

56

India

-1

57

Fiji

+17

58

Suriname

-2

#

Iran, Select Cities

 

59

Bhutan*

-2

Brunei

+75

Laos*

+18

62

Chile

-4

63

Uruguay

-4

64

Morocco

-4

65

Philippines

-4

66

United Arab Emirates

-4

67

Kazakhstan

-4

68

Kenya

-4

69

Nepal

-4

70

Malaysia

-4

71

New Caledonia

-4

72

Thailand

-4

73

Brazil

-4

74

Ghana

-4

Costa Rica

-4

Mozambique

-4

77

Peru

-4

78

Rwanda

-4

Uganda

-4

80

Cambodia

+71

81

United States

-3

82

Canada

-3

83

Mexico

-3

84

Iraq

-3

85

Algeria*

-3

86

Guyana

NEW

87

Bosnia & Herzegovina

-4

88

Argentina

-4

89

Australia

-4

90

Tanzania

-4

91

Burundi

-4

92

Libya*

-4

93

Niger

-4

94

Côte D'Ivoire

-4

95

Eritrea*

-4

96

Nigeria

-4

97

Gabon

-4

98

Benin

-4

99

Panama

+24

Colombia

-1

Notes:
# Not actually included in ranking; highlighted for significant achievement.
* Best ranking based on available information.
Source: Stratas Advisors, July 2021

 


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