Australian diesel imports from Taiwan May 2022

Australia imported 17% of its diesel from Taiwan in May 2022, while the 12 month moving average was 9%

Fig 1: Australian diesel imports since Sep 2020

Australian fuel importers just replaced diesel imports from China with imports from Taiwan. Brunei Imports come from a new Chinese refinery there.

Fig 2: Diesel imports from China, Brunei and Taiwan

These are the target areas for Chinese missiles:
Fig 3: China’s target areas

Japanese assessment on flight paths of Chinese missiles towards Taiwan

Fig 4: Trajectory of Chinese missiles

Note the area south west of Kaohsiung, an important oil port.

Fig 5: tankers at Kaohsiung 5 Aug 2022

Fig 6: Taiwanese crude imports

Pelosi Leaves Taiwan – China Threatens Peace, Shipping & Trade
3 Aug 22
“If there is live firing in the part of the straits that are used for navigation, then tanker traffic is likely to divert,” said Anoop Singh, head of tanker research at Braemar. He added, however, that “it is likely counterproductive economically for China to close navigations through the straits.”

All this happens while Australia’s diesel imports have again reached another record of 2,700 ML in May 2022

Fig 7: Australian diesel imports by country

Australia’s dependency on diesel imports from Taiwan, South Korea and Japan is around 40% (average last 12 months)

Related posts:

25 May 2022 Australian fuel import bill going sky-high

22 Mar 2022 Australian Oil Stocks Consumption Cover

31 Oct 2021 China peak diesel

7 Apr 2015 Australia’s alternative transport fuel: The East Coast gas-ship has sailed


Sooner or later China’s push to take Taiwan will impact on physical oil & fuel supplies.
Australia must reduce its diesel consumption. A good start would be to stop building new road tunnels and many other diesel intensive projects which also increase green house gas emissions. All development applications (DA) for major projects must include calculations on diesel consumption during construction and later during operation of these projects. A lot of this work is already being done when estimating CO2 emissions.

Increasing immigration is also a bad idea because this will lead to higher transport volumes on the roads.
Electrification of container freight is very urgent.

A detailed diesel quota system with priorities must be prepared and be subjected to public consultation so that there are no surprises. This would require the proactive participation of the public broadcaster ABC with the objective to reign in fuel consumption. This in turn means that ABC would have to focus on all issues of oil production. The last time this was done in 2011 with an oil crunch report. High time for this to change.

This has to be seen in the context of the east coast gas crisis. Australia has already botched one energy transition. Instead of exporting LNG it could have used gas as alternative transport fuel. Now time is running out to replace diesel.