Singapore — China's oil companies lifted exports of oil products -- gasoline, gasoil and jet fuel -- by 20.2% on the year to 55.36 million mt in 2019, having utilized 98.9% of oil product export quotas available during the year, according to data released by General Administration of Customs late Thursday.
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The Chinese government issued 55.994 million mt of oil product export quotas for 2019 and 48 million for 2018.
The quota usage rate was higher than the 96% in 2018, suggesting that the oil companies had better arrangements in 2019 to maximize oil product exports in order to offset domestic market pressures.
China uses quotas to control export volumes in order to avoid any drastic increase in crude imports and product exports, while addressing the country's fossil fuel pollution issue.
In 2020, the government has issued 27.991 million mt of oil product export quotas in its first batch, and 9,000 mt of LNG export quotas.
GASOLINE EXPORT GROWTH STRONGEST
Breaking it down, the country's gasoline exports surged 27.1% year on year to 16.37 million mt in 2019, which was the strongest increase among the three products.
Gasoline outflow jumped 35.8% year on year to 1.73 million mt in December, despite retreating 5.7% from the record high of 1.84 million in November, GAC data showed.
The domestic demand for gasoline has been weakening since early October, while gasoline output continues to rise following the start up of the 400,000 b/d Zhejiang Petroleum & Chemical refinery in December, leading to more surplus barrels for export, a Beijing-based analyst said.
Jet fuel exports also registered a 20.1% year-on-year growth to hit 17.61 million mt in 2019.
This means that one third of the country's jet fuel output, at 52.73 million mt, was supplied to China's airports to fuel international flights, and shipped to overseas markets.
Gasoil remained the heaviest outflow among the products, at 21.38 million mt in 2019 despite recording the smallest growth at 15.4%.
In December, gasoil exports declined 26.2% on the month to around 1.63 million mt from a seven-month high of 2.21 million mt in November.
China's oil product exports (Unit:'000 mt)
*Revised according to the latest year-on-year change provided by GAC
Source: The General Administration of Customs