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Pakistan top destination for China’s September gasoline exports

Pakistan emerged as the top destination for China’s gasoline outflows in September, surpassing the traditional destination of Singapore, data released by the General Administration of Customs showed on Oct. 20.

Total exports to Pakistan rose to 242,000 mt, surging 227.5% from August, and also up 126% on the year.

Thanks to the sharp increase in September, total exports to Pakistan were at 926,000 mt over the first nine months of the year, soaring 765.8% on the year, the sharpest jump among all the top 10 destinations. Exports to Indonesia also increased sharply by about 140.9% year on year to 838,000 mt.

Pakistan’s oil products consumption rose 24% on the year to 5.863 million mt over July-September due to a rebound in industrial and transportation activity and an increase in demand for fuel oil following a rise in LNG prices.

The country’s oil demand is poised for robust growth as a central bank stimulus package and healthy farm sector growth underpin a broader economic recovery and boost vehicle sales, according to analysts.

“We are eyeing growth of 4%-5% in diesel sales and 12%-15% in petrol sales this year, given the recovery in economic activity,” said Atif Zafar, chief economist and director research at Topline Securities, a Karachi-based brokerage house. “The higher liquidity has resulted in an increase in car sales, which in turn will also result in higher petrol sales,” Zafar added.

Meanwhile, September outflows to Singapore jumped 495.8% on the month to 209,000 mt, but still down 60.7% on the year.

Despite an year-on-year decline, Singapore still took about 39.5% of China’s total gasoline outflows during January-September, compared with 52% during the same period last year.

China’s September gasoline exports have recovered from a 30-month low of 568,406 mt in August to 920,000 mt in September, up 61.9% on the month.

The outlook for gasoline demand remains bullish in Asia and the Middle East, as economic activity started to pick up in September, with sources noting movement of cargoes towards end-users in Pakistan.

“The strength in Asian gasoline is apparent in cargoes flowing out of China and various parts of Asia to meet the prompt demand in Southeast Asian countries,” said a Singapore-based source.

“We are starting to see slow improvements… spot tenders in Pakistan and cargoes are heading there,” another Singapore-based source said in September.

“PSO [Pakistan State Oil] has also issued buy tenders for 92 RON gasoline for October and November this month,” the source added.

China also revived its gasoil exports last month with the new quota allocated in early August.

As a result, Australia returned as the second top recipient of China’s gasoil in September, with 118,000 mt exported, compared with zero in August.

In September, Australia’s appetite for gasoil improved following easing of some pandemic-related restrictions amid progress in the country’s vaccination program.

“Australia’s demand has been quite supported due to mining demand, especially given how high coal prices are now. But of course, the easing of restrictions will help in the recovery of gasoil demand,” said a Singapore-based trader.

Bangladesh also increased its gasoil imports from China in September, with around 113,000 mt arriving last month, up 75.5% from August.

Accordingly, total exports to Bangladesh surged 67.9% on the year over January-September, up 67.9%, the sharpest growth among the top five recipients — with four in Asia and the fifth being Australia in Oceania.

But the Philippines remained as the top buyer for China’s gasoil exports at 3.91 million mt, up 28.8% year on year.

In the first nine months of 2021, China’s total gasoil exports were up 10.9% on the year at 15.72 million mt while gasoline shipments rose 3.6% on the year at 11.797 million mt.
Source: Platts

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