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China’s July oil product exports fall on quota shortages

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China’s oil product exports fell 28% month on month to 4.64 million MT in July — a five-month low — as oil companies cut exports due to quota shortages. China exported 26.29 million MT of gasoline, gasoil and jet fuel in the first half, down 2.6% year on year, according to detailed data by the General Administration of Customs.

The country’s crude imports fell 19.6% year on year to 9.75 million b/d in July, showed GAC’s preliminary data released Aug. 7. The inflow was also down 0.6% from 9.81 million b/d imported in June. GAC releases data in metric tons, which S&P Global Platts converts to barrels using a 7.33 conversion factor. On a metric ton basis, July imports rose 2.8% on the month to 41.24 million mt.

Total crude imports in the first seven months of the year fell 5.6% year on year to 301.83 million mt, or 10.44 million b/d, GAC data showed, extending a drop of around 3% in the first six months of the year.

China’s Shandong provincial government has asked independent refineries operating in its region to sign commitments to fully abide by the crude import quota rules, in an effort to ensure compliance and clamp down on industry misconduct of the quota usage, market sources have told Platts. The move is also aimed at granting the companies their fair share of quotas in the next round of allocations, the sources added.

“Refiners have been fretting that the government would not grant them the next [third] batch of import quotas [to send out a stern warning to the sector] … but it looks like the refiners can get their next round of quotas if they sign the commitments and promise to fully comply with the rules [in a transparent manner],” a Shandong-based refining source said.

China’s 400,000 b/d Hengli Petrochemical (Dalian) refinery in northeast Liaoning province is expected to receive its third batch of crude import quotas in September, according to a refinery source with knowledge of the matter.

The refinery expects to process a total 21.3 million mt of crudes throughout the year, compared with 22.5 million mt last year.

Sinopec’s new 200,000 b/d Zhongke Petrochemical in southern Guangdong province has shipped its first jet fuel export cargo July 27, providing a new outlet to the company’s product sales, the refinery said in a news report on its official WeChat account.

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