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China allots second batch of 2019 product export quotas under processing trade

China's Ministry of Commerce has allocated a second batch of oil product export quotas under the processing trade route for 2019, totaling 4.71 million mt, to four state-owned oil companies -- CNPC, Sinopec, CNOOC and Sinochem -- according to documents seen by S&P Global Platts Tuesday.

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The new quotas have brought the total oil product quotas allocated under both the processing and general trade routes to 50 million mt so far this year, up 16.3% from 43 million mt in the same period last year.

The year-to-date export quota allocation is above the total 2018 exports of gasoline, gasoil, and jet fuel of 46.08 million mt.

In the newly allocated quotas under the processing trade route, about 98% has gone to jet fuel at 4.62 million mt, 80,000 mt for gasoil, and 10,000 mt for gasoline.

In the first quarter of 2019, the country exported 13.98 million mt of the three key oil products, up 21% year on year.

On a year-to-date basis, the gasoline quota under both routes adds up to 13.535 million mt, up 11.6% on the year, while gasoil is up 8.6% at 18.664 million mt. The jet fuel quota is up 30.0% on the year at 17.795 million mt.

Beijing last week issued the second batch of export quotas under the general trade route, totaling 23.79 million mt, to five state-owned oil companies.

Beijing controls exports by oil companies via quotas. It was not immediately clear when the government will release the third round of export quotas under the general trade route. In 2018, the third round was allocated on October 26.

Under the general trade category, state-owned refiners are free to export, regardless of whether the feedstock is domestic or imported crude. Unused quotas can be rolled over to the following quarter, but not to the following year.

Under the processing category, refiners have less flexibility and there are restrictions on the source of the feedstock and resale of the products.

--Staff, newsdesk@spglobal.com

--Edited by Shashwat Pradhan, shashwat.pradhan@spglobal.com