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China’s Second Batch of Fuel Export Quotas Matches First Allocations

China has allocated more export quotas for refined petroleum products for 2024, issuing a second batch that nearly matches the volumes in the first batch.  

China has recently issued 18 million metric tons of fuel export quotas in the second batch of allocations for this year, Chinese trade sources and consultancies told Reuters on Tuesday.  

The volumes in the latest batch include 14 million tons of refined products and 4 million tons of marine fuel, consultancy firms Longzhong and JLC, as well as trade sources, said.  

These compare with 19 million tons of total export quotas allocated in the first batch for 2024.

Most of the new fuel export quotas were allocated to state-owned refiners, according to the estimates.

Chinese refiners are allowed to export diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel under strict quota regulations, with allowances for each refiner that are usually issued three to four times a year.

In the first batch for 2024, Chinese authorities issued the first batch of fuel export quotas at the end of 2023. The volumes in the batch were basically unchanged from the first batch of allowances for 2023.

In the first batch for 2024, Chinese authorities allocated a total of 19 million tons, mostly to top state-owned refining giants Sinopec and CNPC. The volume allowed for exports in the first batch is the same as the first batch for 2023.

Toward the end of 2023, Chinese fuel exports weakened as refiners had used up their available export quotas. 

Analysts estimated that China’s diesel export peak for last year was in June.

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At the end of August, China issued a larger-than-expected fuel export quota in the third batch of allocations for 2023 as authorities sought to incentivize refiners to sustain economic growth and sell more product abroad at a time when China's 2023 fuel demand may have peaked.

But as early as in September, Chinese authorities signaled to the biggest oil refiners in the world’s top crude oil importer not to rely on more fuel export quotas for the rest of 2023. 

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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