May 23, 2020 / 6:03 AM / 13 days ago

China's diesel exports fall 9.2% in April vs month earlier

    BEIJING, May 23 (Reuters) - China's diesel exports in April
fell 9.2% from a record-high level a month earlier, as refiners
focused on the domestic market after the easing of coronavirus
restrictions prompted an increase in demand and supported profit
margins. 
    Diesel exports were 2.57 million tonnes last month, data
from the General Administration of Customs showed on Saturday,
down from a record 2.83 million tonnes in March. 
    Gasoline exports were 1.9 million tonnes, versus 1.82
million tonnes in March and 1.17 million tonnes in April 2019. 
    The increase in gasoline exports occurred as Chinese
refiners cranked up throughput by 11% last month from March and
overall refined fuel exports rose to a single-month record of 8
million tonnes.
    Chinese fuel demand may rebound this month though, with some
analysts estimating gasoline consumption may return to 95% of
pre-pandemic levels and diesel usage to rise after government
stimulus measures.
    Still, refiners have cut jet kerosene production by 22% and
gasoline by 15% over the first four months of 2020.
    Plants are raising fuel oil output to build up stocks for
cleaner marine fuels that meet the new global maritime emissions
rules in place from January 2020.  
    However, customs does not yet provide data on China's fuel
oil exports. The government issued its first-ever export quotas
for fuel oil in April.
    China's jet kerosene exports in April rose 31.4% from a year
earlier to 2.03 million tonnes, which compared to 1.48 million
tonnes in March, customs data showed. 
    Imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) last month were 5.1 
million tonnes, up 12.3% from the same month last year.
    Below is the latest customs data on fuel exports in millions
of tonnes and imports of LNG in millions of tonnes.
 Exports        April  y/y       Jan-April  y/y
                       %change              %change
 Gasoline         1.9      62.1       6.45      30.8
 Diesel          2.57      -1.1       8.87      -2.4
 Jet kerosene    2.03      31.4       6.44      12.8
 Fuel oil          --                               
 Imports                                            
 LNG              5.1      12.9       20.3       4.6
 
 (Reporting by Muyu Xu in Beijing and Chen Aizhu in Singapore;
Editing by Lincoln Feast.)
  
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