China Ships Out Less Gasoline and Diesel as Local Market Heals

Refiners in China cut exports of gasoline and diesel in March as they prioritized domestic sales in a further sign of recovery in the world’s largest crude oil importer.

Gasoline exports eased to 760,000 tons last month, while flows of diesel fell to 1.44 million tons, reducing monthly totals to the lowest since September and October, respectively, customs data showed on Tuesday. On-year, gasoline exports were lower, but diesel volumes were up.

Energy demand in Asia’s largest economy is surging after Beijing ditched its restrictive Covid Zero policies, paving the way for a rebound in activity. Other official figures from Beijing on Tuesday pointed to a rise in apparent oil demand and unprecedented daily throughput at refiners nationwide. Gasoline consumption, however, appears to be on a much stronger footing than diesel. 

For this month, fuel exports are expected to hold near March’s level of about 2 million tons, according to industry consultant OilChem. Flows will include gasoline, diesel and jet fuel even as domestic supply tightens, it said.

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