SINGAPORE — China’s July gasoline exports
rose 19% over a year before to a three-month high, data showed
on Thursday, as refiners took advantage of new quotas to send
more fuel abroad and ease bulging domestic stocks.
Gasoline shipments totalled 880,000 tonnes last month, the
highest since April, although year-to-date volumes remained 37%
below the same year-ago period, data from the China General
Administration of Customs showed.
Exports of diesel and aviation fuel, however, took analysts
by surprise with volumes much lower than their forecasts.
Diesel exports only edged up from June to 360,000 tonnes
last month, about half the forecast levels and a fraction of
1.39 million tonnes in July 2021.
Exports of jet fuel also fell, by 27% over a year earlier at
480,000 tonnes, the lowest monthly volume since January 2021.
Year-to-date exports stood 8.6% higher than a year before.
China issued two batches of export quotas in June and July,
after companies lobbied for more permits to help thin
overflowing inventories at home as extensive COVID lockdowns
stifled fuel consumption.
Exports of the three fuels is set to rebound in August to
near the highest for the year so far on new quotas, led by
diesel fuel, but the government’s broader curbs are set to cap
shipments at seven-year lows for 2022.
Thursday’s data also showed China’s imports of liquefied
natural gas (LNG) in July fell 15.4% on the year to 4.74 million
tonnes. Year-to-date purchases were down 20% as companies avoid
high priced spot purchases and focus on term supplies.
Pipeline gas imports, primarily from Turkmenistan and
Russia, rose 8% on the year to 3.96 million tonnes. Imports
during the first seven months were up nearly 11% year-on-year to
26.28 million tonnes, data showed.
Table below shows trade details, volumes in million tonnes.
Exports July y/y % change Jan-July y/y % change
Gasoline 0.88 19 6.44 -37.4
Diesel 0.36 -74.2 2.42 -83.2
Jet fuel 0.48 -27.1 4.76 8.6
Import July y/y % change Jan-July y/y % change
LNG 4.74 -15.4 35.93 -20.3
Piped gas 3.96 8 26.28 10.8
(Reporting by Chen Aizhu; editing by Richard Pullin and Mark