China's gasoline exports rise on new quotas; diesel, jet below expectations

A worker refuels a Dalian Airlines aircraft with aviation fuel at an airport in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China August 3, 2015. Picture taken August 3, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

SINGAPORE, Aug 18 (Reuters) - China's July gasoline exports rose 19% over a year before to a three-month high, data showed on Thursday, as refiners took advantage of new quotas to send more fuel abroad and ease bulging domestic stocks.

Gasoline shipments totalled 880,000 tonnes last month, the highest since April, although year-to-date volumes remained 37% below the same year-ago period, data from the China General Administration of Customs showed.

Exports of diesel and aviation fuel, however, took analysts by surprise with volumes much lower than their forecasts.

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Diesel exports only edged up from June to 360,000 tonnes last month, about half the forecast levels and a fraction of 1.39 million tonnes in July 2021.

Exports of jet fuel also fell, by 27% over a year earlier at 480,000 tonnes, the lowest monthly volume since January 2021. Year-to-date exports stood 8.6% higher than a year before.

China issued two batches of export quotas in June and July, after companies lobbied for more permits to help thin overflowing inventories at home as extensive COVID lockdowns stifled fuel consumption.

Exports of the three fuels is set to rebound in August to near the highest for the year so far on new quotas, led by diesel fuel, but the government's broader curbs are set to cap shipments at seven-year lows for 2022. read more

Thursday's data also showed China's imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in July fell 15.4% on the year to 4.74 million tonnes. Year-to-date purchases were down 20% as companies avoid high priced spot purchases and focus on term supplies.

Pipeline gas imports, primarily from Turkmenistan and Russia, rose 8% on the year to 3.96 million tonnes. Imports during the first seven months were up nearly 11% year-on-year to 26.28 million tonnes, data showed.

Table below shows trade details, volumes in million tonnes.

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Reporting by Chen Aizhu; editing by Richard Pullin and Mark Potter

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