China's August gasoline, gasoil and jet exports recovered 27.3% to 2.59 million mt in September from a 13-month low at 2.03 million mt in August, but left fewer export quotas for Q4, data from the country's General Administration of Customs showed late Oct. 18.
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The country's total exports of the three products between January and September dipped 1.5% year on year to 33.7 million mt, according to the data.
This brought the export quota availability for October-December at 3.3 million mt, suggesting a further reduction in 2021 outflows, unless new quotas are issued, sources said.
Market sources expected Chinese oil companies would suspend exporting gasoline and gasoil in November and December following a month-on-month reduction in October due to tight supply in the domestic market, while export quotas were running out.
Moreover, it was unlikely that Beijing would allocate additional quotas for the remainder of the year, leaving oil companies with little choice but to save quotas for exporting jet fuel, which face poor demand in China, sources said.
China's September gasoline exports have recovered from a 30-month low of 568,406 mt in August, to 920,000 mt in September, up by 61.9% on the month. This followed the new quota allocation in August, which enabled the refineries to resume exports. This mostly included PetroChina's refineries.
But the gasoline exports were still 20.8% lower from last year's 1.16 million mt.
Gasoil outflows also recovered by 43.3% to 780,000 mt last month, from more than a six-year low of 544,480 mt in August. The exports were, however, 34.9% lower from last September at 1.2 million mt.
Despite the year-on-year fall in September exports, the total gasoline exports were still up by 1.5% to 11.79 million mt over January-September. The exports of gasoil were also 10.9% higher at 15.72 million mt over the same period.
Meanwhile, the 17-month low throughput in September with higher gasoline and gasoil exports have resulted in tight supplies in domestic market, which pushed up prices.
China processed 13.7 million b/d of crude in September, extending a downward trend by edging down 0.7% from August levels, data from National Bureau of Statistics on Oct. 18.
Wholesale price of National 6 gasoil, almost equal to Euro 6, in Guangdong jumped Yuan 1,600/mt ($33.26/b), or 27.5%, in two weeks to Yuan 7,400/mt on Sept. 28 as supply reduction outpaces demand fall, Platts reported.
Jet fuel exports have recovered the most among all the three key products, with 890,000 mt exported, up 241.8% year on year. The volume was still about 3.4% lower from August at 921,000 mt.
China's oil majors are likely to further increase jet fuel exports in October, with around 1 million mt to be exported this month. They are expected to account for about half of the three key product exports.
Demand of jet fuel has recovered from the international airlines, with the COVID-19 pandemic getting better worldwide, according to refinery sources.
Over the first nine months of the year, the total exports of jet fuel amounted to 6.19 million mt, 28.3% lower year on year.
China's key oil products exports ('000 mt)
Source: General Administration of Customs
Notes: * adjusted according to the % change provided by GAC