China Diesel Exports Jump in February As Holidays Hit Demand

Outbound diesel shipments from China jumped last month as Beijing’s move to release more fuel export quotas lifted flows, and factory activity slowed over the Lunar New Year holidays in mid-February.

Daily shipments of the industrial fuel rose 10% in February from the previous month, customs data show. Gasoline exports, meanwhile, slipped 3.3% on-month amid a rise in local consumption as more citizens chose private cars over domestic flights during the week-long spring festival vacation.

Overall exports of diesel and gasoline in the first two months of 2021 set a new record for this time of the year after a more than 5% increase in Beijing’s first batch of quotas compared to a similar issuance in 2020. The rise has been attributed to the addition of a new Chinese mega-refining complex Zhejiang Petroleum & Chemical Co., which received a 2-million-tons oil-export quota this year after being omitted from early allocations last year.

READ MORE: China Fuel Exports Set to Rise at Expense of Other Asia Refiners

  • Diesel exports in February were 1.71 million tons, the equivalent of 456,000 barrels a day, up from 414,000 barrels a day in January, according to Bloomberg calculations based on customs data released Thursday
  • Gasoline exports were 1.65 million tons in February, or 492,000 barrels a day, down from 510,000 barrels a day in January

Exports are likely to be elevated in March on improving global demand. China’s state-owned energy giants PetroChina Co., China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., Cnooc Ltd. and Sinochem Group are planning to export a combined 3.5 million tons of fuel this month, energy consultant SCI99 said in February.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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