(Adds details, quote)
SINGAPORE, April 7 China is cutting diesel
exports in April to 220,000 tonnes from earlier estimates of
250,000 tonnes because of rising domestic consumption, traders
said on Tuesday.
PetroChina (0857.HK) is expected to ship out 70,000 tonnes,
down from 100,000 tonnes in a previous forecast, while rival
Sinopec Corp's (0386.HK) exports held steady at 150,000 tonnes,
"It is mostly due to increasing demand in China, with the
agriculture sector being the main driver," said one trader who
is familiar with the flows.
Reflecting stronger fundamentals, wholesale diesel prices
in the southern Chinese market have risen to 5,000 yuan
($732.00) a tonne from 3,900 yuan ($571.00) last month.
"Previously diesel supplies were heavy but the levels have
eased," said a trader in Guangzhou.
Wholesale prices were bolstered by a recent pump price hike
of 3-5 percent in China on March 25, the trader added.
The first such increase in three months prompted
wholesalers to refill their tanks and to draw down high
refinery stockpiles, amid peak agriculture demand.
With China scaling back exports, the gas oil intermonth
swaps spread in Singapore strengthened to minus 30 cents from
minus $1.15 a barrel a month ago. <SWAPS/SG1>
(Reporting by Felicia Loo; Editing by Ben Tan)