China's gasoil exports hit an all-time high at 1.11 million mt in September, and the exports are set to remain at a high level till the end of the year on slow domestic demand and available export quotas.
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The September gasoil exports were nearly five times higher than the 225,810 mt exported a year ago and up 54% from the previous record high of 722,520 mt in August, according to data released Tuesday by the General Administration of Customs.
Refinery sources said the exports helped to ease inventory pressure generated by sluggish domestic demand. Some refineries in the country plan to export more gasoil barrels in October than September.
According to Platts' survey, state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp., or CNOOC, plans to export up to 100,000 mt of gasoil in October, up significantly from the 50,000 mt in September, while seven Sinopec refineries plan to export 421,000 mt this month, up 27% from 331,000 in September.
Two surveyed PetroChina refineries also plan to boost exports in October to 248,000 mt from 205,000 mt in September.
The Ministry of Commerce issued a total 8.83 million mt of gasoil export quotas to state-owned Sinopec, China National Petroleum Corp. and CNOOC for 2015, Platts calculations based on data from industry sources showed.
Over the first nine months, China's gasoil exports totaled 4.35 million mt, up 37.8% from 3.16 million mt in the same period last year.
This leaves a balance of 4.48 million mt of gasoil export quotas for the last three months of this year, or an average of 1.49 million mt each month over October-December.
As China's outflow of gasoil has increased, it has also expanded beyond its traditional market of Southeast Asia.
China's first substantial gasoil export to Togo, in west Africa, was seen in August, with a 79,279 mt shipment, customs data showed.
GASOLINE EXPORTS ALSO GET A BOOST IN SEPTEMBER
China's gasoline exports totaled 615,190 mt last month, up 71.1% from September 2014 and 31.7% from August 2015, according to customs data.
Gasoline exports are expected to be stable in the coming months due to recovering domestic demand and healthy inventory levels.
"Compared with gasoil, gasoline sales are better and we don't have inventory pressure," said a refinery source from PetroChina.
Over January to September, China exported 4.02 million mt of gasoline, up 17.8% from the 3.42 million mt in the same period of last year.
The Ministry of Commerce issued 6.40 million mt of gasoline export quotas for 2015, leaving a balance of 2.98 million mt or a monthly average of 993,000 mt of unused quotas for the fourth quarter.