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China Oil Tankers In Port

Oil tankers are seen at a terminal of Sinopec Yaogang oil depot in Nantong, Jiangsu province, China June 11, 2019. Picture taken June 11, 2019. REUTERS/

China Boosts VLSFO Marine Fuel Exports

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October 2, 2022

China has issued its biggest fuel-export quota this year which will allow a lot more VLSFO marine grade fuel to reach the market.

By Florence Tan and Muyu Xu (Reuters) – China has set the size of its latest batch of oil products export quotas for 2022 at about 15 million tonnes, trade sources with knowledge of the matter said on Friday, a shift in fuel export policy as Beijing seeks ways to boost trade.

The quotas, widely expected by the market for the last two weeks, include 13.25 million tonnes of refined products – normally gasoline, diesel, and aviation fuel – and 1.75 million tonnes of low-sulphur marine fuel, two of the sources said.

The new issue of 13.25 million tonnes, the year’s single largest allotment, takes total allotments of diesel, gasoline and jet fuel combined for 2022 to 37.25 million tonnes, on par with 2021. 

Industry and government sources have said the rushed decision to raise refined fuel exports, a change in policy after steep curbs earlier in the year, was part of Beijing’s effort to lift sagging merchandise exports.

Asian oil products market fell after the news, with refining profit for 10-ppm gasoil GO10SGCKMc1 hitting a two-week low of 

$32.00 a barrel over benchmark Dubai crude, versus $36.93 on Thursday.

Similarly, refining margins for jet fuel also hit a two-week low of $24.85 a barrel over Dubai, down from $29.58 in the previous session, while those of gasoline GL92-SIN-CRK slipped to 81 cents a barrel over Brent crude, from $2.13 a day earlier.

Sources said top state refiner Sinopec and CNPC together accounted for over 80% of the new permits, with the rest shared by state-run firms such as Sinochem Group and China National Offshore Oil Company, as well as privately-controlled Zhejiang Petrochemical Corp. 

The commerce ministry, which is in charge of issuing quotas, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Trading sources and analysts said the sheer size of the new quotas, amounting to 55% of the volume of the previous four issues combined, could mean some of them could spill over into 2023. 

“Due to the large size and considering refiners’ operational situations … companies may be allowed to use some of the quotas during the first quarter of next year,” saidChina-based commodities consultancy JLC.

China’s exports of refined products are set for big increases during the final quarter of this year, it added. 

The new quotas, under the fifth batch of issue, included 1.75 million tonnes of very low sulphur marine fuel (VLSFO). That takes total marine fuel quotas released this year to 16.75 million tonnes, nearly 40% more than 2021.

(Reporting by Florence Tan, Muyu Xu and Mohi Narayan; Additional reporting by Matthew Chye; writing by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Jason Neely and David Goodman, Reuters)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022.

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