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China’s clean marine fuel exports grow 16% from year earlier

China’s exports of very low-sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO), mainly as clean marine bunker fuel, rose in September by 16% from a year earlier, customs data showed.

Exports of the shipping fuel, which has a maximum sulphur content of 0.5% to comply with rules set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), were 1.45 million tonnes in September, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

That compares with August’s 1.59 million tonnes, and 1.26 million tonnes in September 2020.

Exports during January to September rose 39% to 14.66 million tonnes.

China’s marine fuel production capacity is expected to reach 20 million tonnes in 2021, up 52.67% from a year earlier, according to China-based Longzhong consultancy.

Beijing has so far issued 11 million tonnes of export permits for VLSFO.

The customs data on Wednesday also showed fuel oil imports under general trade were 515,165 tonnes, supported by demand from some independent refiners for use as a feedstock to process into fuels because of tightening crude oil import quotas.

Imports into bonded storage that include both high-sulphur and low-sulphur supplies were 611,495 tonnes last month, the data showed.

The table below shows China’s fuel oil imports and exports, all in metric tonnes.

The column of exports under bonded storage trade largely captures China’s VLSFO bunkering sales along its coast.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Chen Aizhu in Singapore and Muyu Xu in Beijing; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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