Thirteen nations have moved into the Top 100 in Stratas Advisors’ diesel-sulfur-limits rankings for 2019.

Stratas Advisors’ research, conducted by its Global Fuels Specifications Service, validates a continued worldwide movement toward lower sulfur content in diesel. The study also cites a number of countries that have positioned themselves through policy initiatives to make advances in this area in the near future.

The last ranking was carried out in February 2018. EU countries, required to implement 100% market penetration of sulfur-free (less than 10 ppm) fuels since January 2009, continue to dominate the Top 40. Sweden, which led the way with full market penetration in 1990, continues to reign at No. 1.

The 13 countries that moved into the 2019 ranking, led by Fiji at the 58th spot, are:

  • Fiji
  • Georgia
  • Ghana
  • India
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Mongolia
  • Nigeria
  • Panama
  • Philippines
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Africa
  • Thailand

Countries that dropped in the ranking, such as Brazil, did not alter its diesel fuel specifications but were simply passed by others that implemented stricter sulfur limits or supplied lower sulfur fuels ahead of legislation.

Six countries ─ Botswana, Kyrgyzstan, Namibia, Oman, Papua New Guinea and Swaziland ─ dropped out of the 2019 ranking and were replaced by Fiji, Ghana, Moldova, Mongolia, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, all of which entered the Top 100 for the first time. This movement is due to reductions in sulfur limits that have been implemented during the past year, or supplies of lower-sulfur diesel on the domestic market.

Mongolia made the greatest jump, 54 places, to rank 92nd, followed by Moldova which jumped 52 places to rank 71st. India and Nigeria jumped 49 places to share the 86th  spot with Ghana.

Even though cities and provinces are not officially ranked, it is worthwhile to note that select cities and provinces of Brazil, India, Iran and Peru required diesel fuel with lower sulfur of 50 ppm or below, stricter than the rest of the respective countries. For example, Brazil has required 10 ppm sulfur diesel in select metropolitan regions since January 2013 while the rest of the nation is required to meet a maximum sulfur limit of 500 ppm.