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China’s 2020 gasoline exports hit two-year low as pandemic curbs travel demand

China’s gasoline exports dropped 2.3% in 2020 from a year ago, reaching a two-year low, as fuel demand plummeted globally after governments imposed travel restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Exports of gasoline from China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, were 16 million tonnes last year, data from the General Administration of Customs released on Monday showed.

Exports in December were 1.45 million tonnes, down 16.5% from the same month a year ago, data showed.

Diesel exports were also weak in 2020, down 7.6% from a year ago at 19.76 million tonnes, with December shipments at 1.49 million tonnes.

Demand for jet kerosene was hit hardest by the pandemic as hundreds of thousands of international flights were cancelled. Exports of the fuel were 9.98 million tonnes in 2020, down 43.4% from a year ago.

Having emerged more quickly from the initial impact of the pandemic, China has been leading the recovery in oil demand, as it relaxed domestic travel restrictions and factory output surged.

Customs data on Monday also showed that imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2020 hit a record 67.13 million tonnes, shored up by demand for heating during the northern Asia winter.

December imports also marked a record monthly high of 7.59 million tonnes, up 18.2% from the same month a year earlier and breaking the previous record of 6.61 million tonnes set in November.

Below is the latest customs data on fuel exports in millions of tonnes and imports of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, in millions of tonnes.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Muyu Xu and Tom Daly, editing by Larry King)

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