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Chinese refiners have tripled their exports of diesel so far this year as export quotas and rising refining margins in Asia proved incentives enough amid tepid domestic diesel demand.
Between January and August, China’s exports of diesel soared by 197.2% compared to the same eight months of 2022, according to data from the General Administration of Customs on Monday cited by Reuters.
For August alone, Chinese diesel exports surged by 51.5% year-on-year, the official Chinese data showed. Exports of gasoline and jet fuel also jumped in August and in January-August, as refining margins in the region have surged.
Last month, regional refining margins averaged $12.60 per barrel, up from July and the highest since the end of January this year, according to Reuters estimates.
The surge in Chinese fuel exports, especially of diesel, came as refiners processed in August the highest volumes of crude oil ever.
High margins on the export markets and peak domestic summer demand prompted China’s refiners to boost crude oil processing to a record-high 15.23 million barrels per day (bpd) in August, Chinese data showed last week.
The total throughput jumped last month by 19.6% compared to August 2022, according to data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) quoted by Reuters. The rise in refinery runs was the highest annual increase since March 2021, Reuters noted.
Between January and August, refinery throughput went up by 11.9% year-over-year to 14.76 million bpd, per Reuters estimates.
Refinery throughput accelerated in August with record runs, thanks to peak summer travel demand in China and higher volumes of fuel exports as refiners looked to capture strong margins abroad and had additional export quotas allocated.
China also imported in August the third-highest monthly crude oil volumes ever as crude arrivals surged by 20.9% compared to July and by 30.9% versus August last year, according to Chinese customs data.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.