© Stocksak. FILE PHOTO: On April 21, 2019, a bulk carrier was seen at Qingdao Port in Shandong province, China. Picture taken April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
By Chen Aizhu & Dominique Patton
(Stocksak). China’s September diesel exports rose to their highest levels in over a decade, while aviation fuel shipments reached their highest level for 29 months. Refiners scrambled to cash in on strong export margins, data from Monday showed.
According to data from General Administration of Customs, diesel fuel exports increased more than twice from a year ago to 1.73 million tonnes last month. This is the highest monthly rate since July 2021. This was an increase from 830,000 tonnes in august and 780,000 tons a year earlier.
The volume of exports of aviation fuel, which includes refuelling at Chinese airports, increased by 38.6% to 1.23million tonnes last month, up from 1.19 million tonnes a year ago. The data revealed that this was the highest monthly volume recorded since April 2020.
Variflight, an air traffic tracking specialist, reported that total passenger flight turnover for August included departures and landings amounted to 369 536 trips. This was 36.5% lower in August than August and 42% below September 2021.
The September gasoline exports were 660,000 tonnes, which is 28.3% lower than a year before and 41% less than August, according to the data.
China had maintained strong curbs on fuel exports this calendar year, which resulted in total fuel exports for the first nine months 2022 dropping 28% from a previous year.
In a dramatic shift in fuel trade policy, Beijing released a large batch of 15,000,000 tonnes of additional export quotas in September. This included 13.25 million tonnes for jet fuel, diesel, and gasoline. The remainder was for marine fuel.
This was seen to help boost exports over the next months and possibly through March 2023.
Data also showed that Liquefied (LNG), imports rebounded to 5.9 Million tonnes ahead of the winter heating seasons, the highest monthly volume since January. However, it was 11.6% less than the year-ago level.
Year-to date shipments were also down 20% compared to the same period in 2021, at 46.51 Million tonnes. Whole-year imports are expected to experience the first major decline since China began purchasing super-chilled fuels in 2006.
Pipeline gas imports rose 9.8% last month compared to a previous year to 4.25 million tonnes. Year-to-date imports increased 10.5% to 34.66 millions tonnes, compared to a year ago.
China, which will be second in LNG imports after Japan this year, has shipped in 819 345 tonnes of fuel from Russia last month. That’s 33% more than it did a year ago. Customs data showed.
According to Stocksak’s record of customs figures, the September volume is the largest since February 2019.
The table below shows trade details and volumes in million tonnes.
Exports Sept y/y.% Change Jan-Sept.
Gasoline 0.66-28 8.22 -30.3
Diesel 1.73 123 4.98 -68
Jet fuel 1.23 39 6.77 9.3
Imports Sept y/y.% change Jan-Sept. y/y.% change
LNG 5.9 -11.6 46.5
Piped gas 4.25 98% 34.66 10.5