Singapore — China's gasoline exports to Australia shot up to 70,000 mt in December 2020, almost double the shipments in the same month a year earlier and marking a big spike from the zero cargoes in November, detailed data released by the General Administration of Customs showed on Jan. 21.
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The December shipments put Australia as the fourth largest importer of Chinese gasoline. China exported a total 185,000 mt of gasoline to Australia in 2020, up 213.7% from 2019.
Australia has ramped up its import of oil products due to lower domestic output after refinery closures. It now imports more than 60% of its gasoline and gasoil requirements from China, South Korea, India and other countries.
Over the Australia financial year July 2020 to June 2021, its refined oil import volume is forecast to jump to 785,000 b/d, a 22.6% year-on-year increase, according to the Australian Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources' estimates published in its quarterly report.
In addition to Australia, China's gasoline exports to Pakistan have also increased substantially to 437,000 mt in 2020, compared with zero a year earlier.
This is likely to continue in 2021 as the Pakistani government has mandated a ban on the import of gasoline with specifications below that of Euro 5 standard from August onwards, which China can offer a steady supply.
Despite these new outlets, China's gasoline exports slipped 2.3% year on year to 16 million mt in 2020. The drop could be attributed to the decline in outflow to Singapore, which fell 17.4% year on year to 8.065 million mt, from 9.77 million mt a year earlier.
China's gasoil exports fell 7.6% year on year to 19.765 million mt in 2020, an even larger quantum of decline than that of its gasoline exports, the GAC data showed.
Its exports to its Southeast Asian customers failed to make it to its list of top 10 export destinations, except for Malaysia.
Gasoil exports to Malaysia have seen a steady year-on-year increase of 184.1% to 1.07 million mt in 2020, extending from an annual growth rate of 66% in 2019.
Meanwhile, gasoil exports to Bangladesh have increased 22.8% year on year to 1.62 million mt in 2020, but was still lower from 2018.
Chile and the Netherlands are the only two outside Asia among China's top 10 export destinations, which have increased imports from China by 416% and 30.1%, respectively, year on year.
Top 10 destinations for China's gasoline, gasoil exports ('000 mt)
Source: General Administration of Customs
Notes: *including exports to other countries