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Gasoline-naphtha-crude-MTBE: Market overview
Updated to mid-Jan 2014
Gasoline retail prices posted eight rises and seven drops in 2013, in line with changes in the price of international crude. The wholesale gasoline price fell by Yuan (CNY) 272/tonne compared with a year ago, as alternative energy sources were developed and there was less speculation in the gasoline market.
Gasoline consumption was at a relatively high level during the period. Sales of gasoline-fueled vehicles in China increased by 15.7% year on year between January and December 2013, which pushed up gasoline consumption. But alternative energy markets expanded at the same time. According to a survey by ICIS C1 Energy, consumption of compressed natural gas (CNG) used in cars during 2013 was up by at least 20% compared with 2012. Meanwhile many market players switched their attention to gasoil rather than gasoline, so there was less speculation in the gasoline market.
On the supply side, Sinopec and PetroChina kept operating rates at subsidiary refineries relatively high, around 83-85%. Meanwhile, blended gasoline supply was ample, because Sinopec and PetroChina bought only a small amount of blended grades.
China's gasoline production is expected to rise by about 8% year on year in 2014 as new refining capacities become operational. With the rise in demand for gasoline-fuelled vehicles, gasoline demand is expected to increase by 7.5%. However, the availability of alternative energy always affects the gasoline market, so we expect more gasoline to be exported in 2014.
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