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China Data: August gasoil exports hit new record, up 33% from July

China's gasoil exports hit a new record high at 722,516 mt in August, and are expected to remain on an upward trend amid sluggish domestic demand and with support from sufficient exports quotas. 

The August exports were up 33% from 543,992 mt exported in July, and also up 77% on year from 407,801 mt exported in August 2014, according to data released Tuesday by the General Administration of Customs. 

Gasoil exports of 669,831 mt in June this year were the second highest level recorded, Platts reported earlier. 

Chinese refiners have been boosting oil product exports this year -- mainly gasoil -- due to slow domestic demand, said a source with Sinopec. 

"Demand for gasoil is really bad in the domestic market this year and the demand growth for gasoline has also slowed, which forced many refineries to export more in a bid to ease stock pressure," the source said. 

Gasoline exports were 466,945 mt last month, up 18% from the previous month, but it remained slightly lower than 487,383 exported in August 2014, according to the customs data. 

State-owned refineries have applied for more oil product export quotas this year, especially quotas to be used in the coming months, market sources said. 

The Ministry of Commerce in late August issued the fourth batch of oil product export quotas of 9.9 million mt to state-owned Sinopec, China National Petroleum Corp. and China National Offshore Oil Corp., making the total oil product export quota 28.55 million mt in 2015 -- comprising 8.8 million mt of gasoil, 6.4 million mt of gasoline and 13.32 million mt of jet fuel -- up 47% from 2014, Platts calculation based on data from industry source showed. 

JAN-AUG GASOIL EXPORTS AT 3.24 MILLION MT 

In the first eight months of this year, China exported around 3.24 million mt of gasoil and 3.41 million mt of gasoline, both up 11% from the same period last year. 

This means that export quotas for 5.59 million mt gasoil and 2.99 million mt gasoline are unused, allowing the companies to increase exports for the rest of the year. 

The monthly average gasoil export quota for the period over September to December would be 1.39 million mt, triple of the average 405,000 mt seen for the first eight months, Platts calculations showed. 

China typically issues four batches of oil product export quotas in a year. Refineries can apply for new quotas when the previous quotas run out. The unused volumes can be rolled over to the following months in the same year. 

China has been also widening its markets for gasoil exports, moving out from the traditional Southeast Asian countries. In August, it made its first substantial gasoil export to Papua New Guinea, sending 10,500 mt, the customs data showed. 

China imported 6,369 mt of gasoil in August, up sharply from 357 mt in July, and also up from 1,206 mt from August 2014. 

Over January-August, China imported 379,230 mt of gasoil, up 79% on year. 

Although gasoil imports also increased this year, higher exports has resulted in net gasoil exports rising 5% on year to 2.86 million mt in the first eight months of this year. 

China does not typically import motor gasoline, with only 15 mt recorded gasoline imported in August and 166,715 mt over January-August, data showed.

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