SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s refiners may continue strong exports of gasoline up to the end of the year, which recently caused domestic supply to tighten and prices to spike despite the lull demand season.
Domestic refiners are rushing to meet their annual export quota amid a glut in the local market for the most part of the year.
China’s 2019 gasoline export quota allocation is 15.89m tonnes, with actual shipments in January-October at around 12.8m tonnes, up 16.7% from the previous year.
Demand in the country has entered a traditional lull period but supply in some parts of the country tightened because of strong exports, consequently pushing up prices.
At the close of trade on 6 December, spot prices of 92-Ron gasoline were assessed at Chinese yuan (CNY) 6,758.75/tonne, up by about 2% from the previous week, according to ICIS data.
On 3 December, China raised the retail ceiling prices of gasoil and gasoline by CNY50/tonne and CNY55/tonne, respectively, taking into account gains in international crude prices.
In the gasoil market, gains were lower than those of gasoline because of weaker gasoil demand.
China National Offshore Oil Corp’s (CNOOC) Zhongjie Petrochemical in Hebei plans to export a third of its December 92-Ron gasoline output.
In Guangzhou, tight gasoline supply may ease as Guangzhou Petrochemical’s refinery has recently restarted from a turnaround of about two months.
Nonetheless, independent refiners in Shandong hiked their gasoline prices.
Market players are looking closely at the recent start-up of Zhejiang Petrochemical refinery, which has started producing gasoil but has yet to produce gasoline.
Focus article by Yiting Tang
($1 = CNY7.04)
Photo: A car refuels at a gas station in Luoyang, China. (Source: Imagine China/Shutterstock)