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China’s H1 gasoline exports fall 42% as June overseas sales halve

China’s June gasoline exports halved from a year earlier, driving overseas sales for the first six months of 2022 down 42%, as the country sticks with its policy of curbing fuel exports despite stalling domestic demand, Chinese customs data showed on Monday.

China exported 730,000 tonnes of gasoline last month, data from the General Administration of Customs showed, down from 840,000 tonnes in May and 1.45 million tonnes in June last year.

Last month’s diesel exports were at 330,000, compared with 120,000 tonnes in May, but still a fraction of the 2.36 million tonnes a year earlier.

Diesel exports for the January-June period totaled 2.06 million tonnes, down 84% on the year.

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

Total refined fuel exports last month, which also include fuel oil, were at their lowest since January 2017 at 3.21 million tonnes.

Exports were expected to pick up as the authorities issued another 5-million-tonne quotas early this month for refined fuel exports, after a top-up of 4.5 million tonnes of permits in June, although the total releases so far this year remained 40% less than a year ago.

The new quotas should help to reduce high domestic inventories while helping refiners to cash in on robust export margins in a tight global market, traders said.

Monday’s data also showed exports of jet fuel, including refueling at Chinese airports for international flights, at 520,000 tonnes, versus 810,000 tonnes in May and 910,000 tonnes a year earlier. Year-to-date exports rose 14.9% on the year to 4.28 million tonnes.

Imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in June fell 26% on the year to 4.82 million tonnes, with year-to-date purchases down 20.8% versus a year earlier as companies avoid high priced spot purchases LNG-AS and focus on term supplies.

Pipeline gas imports, primarily from Turkmenistan and Russia, rose 11.5% on year to 3.9 million tonnes. Imports during the first six months were up 11.3% year-on-year to 22.32 million tonnes, data showed.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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