China’s May gasoline exports plunge, LNG imports slide

Oil and gas tanks are seen at an oil warehouse at a port in Zhuhai, China October 22, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

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June 18 (Reuters) – China’s May gasoline exports fell 45.5% from a year earlier and diesel exports plunged 92.7% despite stalling domestic demand, as companies ran short of export quotas, Chinese customs data showed on Saturday.

China exported 840,000 tonnes of gasoline last month, data from the General Administration of Customs showed, down from 1.55 million tonnes in May 2021 and 980,000 tonnes in April.

Diesel exports sank to 120,000 tonnes from 1.68 million tonnes a year earlier and 530,000 tonnes the previous month.

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Widespread lockdowns that began in March in the financial and commercial hub Shanghai to contain the COVID-19 virus hammered local consumption of gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel. Demand only started a modest recovery in late May with some easing of mobility restrictions.

Total refined fuel exports last month, which also include marine fuel oil, were nearly 40% below a year earlier at 3.27 million tonnes, the second-lowest monthly rate since July 2020, earlier data showed.

Exports for the January-May period tumbled 39% on the year as Beijing slashed export quotas to curb excessive domestic refinery production.

The swelling stocks as a result of stagnant fuel consumption prompted the government to issue an additional batch of permits in early June. read more

Saturday’s data showed exports of jet fuel, including refuelling at Chinese airports for international flights, rose to 810,000 tonnes in May from 570,000 tonnes a year earlier, though down from 960,000 tonnes in April.

China’s imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) dropped 28% on the year to 4.93 million tonnes, with year-to-date imports down 19.6% as consumers shied away from spot purchases in the face of hefty import costs . read more

Pipeline gas imports, primarily from Turkmenistan and Russia, jumped 26% on year to a record 4.15 million tonnes, exceeding 4 million tonnes for only the second time after reaching that level in December.

Imports during the first five months were up 11.3% year-on-year to 18.42 million tonnes, data showed.

Table below shows trade details, volumes in million tonnes.

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Reporting by Chen Aizhu and Dominique Patton; Editing by William Mallard

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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