April 23, 2020 / 3:57 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-China's March gasoline exports rise as pandemic cuts domestic demand

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    BEIJING/SINGAPORE, April 23 (Reuters) - China's gasoline
exports in March rose by 8.2% from a year earlier as refineries
scrambled to increase sales to overseas markets amid tepid
domestic demand from the disruptions of transport and industry
caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
    Gasoline shipments were 1.82 million tonnes last month, data
from the General Administration of Customs showed on Thursday.
That compares to 1.69 million tonnes in March 2019. Exports were
2.72 million tonnes in January and February combined, customs
said. 
    Customs did not separate out the fuel export data for
January and February when they reported it last month.
    The export increase occurred even as Chinese state-backed
refineries deepened their cuts to crude oil processing rates in
March in response to the lukewarm demand, with gasoline output
last month dwindling 21% from a year earlier and diesel
production falling 9.4%. 
    Diesel exports climbed to 2.83 million tonnes in March, up
from 2.71 million tonnes in the same period last year. The
exports were 3.47 million tonnes combined for the first two
months of the year. 
    The easing of some coronavirus curbs on travel and business
activities in China helped to bolster fuel consumption in some
parts of the country, starting in late February, but the growing
macro-economic headwinds and fears of a second wave of virus
outbreaks have weighed on the demand recovery of transport
fuels.
    The novel coronavirus, first detected in the central Chinese
city of Wuhan, has infected more than 2.5 million people
worldwide and spread to more than 210 countries and territories.
 
    China's jet kerosene exports in March plunged 15.3% from a
year earlier to 1.48 million tonnes, customs data showed. The
exports were 2.93 million tonnes combined for January and
February.
    Imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in March rose to 4.19
million tonnes, up 4.3% from the same month last year.
    Below is the latest customs data on fuel exports in millions
of tonnes and imports of LNG in millions of tonnes. 
    
 Exports                                                     
 Products      March  y/y % change  Jan-Mar     y/y % change
 Gasoline       1.82           8.2        4.55             21
 Diesel         2.83           4.3         6.3            3.9
 Jet fuel       1.48         -15.3        4.41            5.9
 Imports                                                     
 LNG            4.19           4.3       15.25            2.4
 
 (Reporting by Muyu Xu in BEIJING and Chen Aizhu in SINGAPORE;
Editing by Tom Hogue and Christian Schmollinger)
  
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