China Diesel Exports Rise to Two-Year High; Gas Imports Gain

China’s diesel exports rose to the highest level in more than two years in November and pipeline natural gas imports increased to a record, while purchases of liquefied natural gas declined.

Net diesel exports, or overseas sales minus imports, increased to 241,417 metric tons, the most since October 2010, according to data e-mailed by the General Administration of Customs today. Gas bought via pipeline from Turkmenistan jumped 62 percent from a year earlier to 1.61 million tons as inbound cargoes of LNG slid 16 percent to 1.08 million.

Oil refiners in China, the world’s second-biggest crude consumer, are expanding so fast that they may boost fuel exports to find new buyers, the International Energy Agency said in its Medium-Term Oil Market Report on Oct. 12. The nation last month processed more than 10 million barrels a day of the commodity for the first time. China is also on track to import more gas by pipeline than by sea as buyers seek cheaper supplies.

Diesel exports last month were 301,600 tons, also the highest since October 2010, while imports fell 70 percent from a year earlier to 60,183 tons, today’s data show. Gasoline exports rose to 332,399 tons, the most since March.

Fuel oil imports fell for a second month to 2.09 million tons, compared with 2.1 million tons in October and 2.06 million a year earlier. Purchases of the residue, used as a ship fuel and refinery feedstock, were little changed at 24.22 million tons in the first eleven months from a year earlier.

Gas Imports

China increased supplies of natural gas to meet winter demand from heating. The National Development and Reform Commission, the top economic planner, on Dec. 18 urged local governments to ensure availability of the fuel in winter and spring.

The country, which accounted for almost a quarter of Asia’s gas use last year, increased imports via pipeline by 52 percent to 14.3 million tons in the first 11 months of the year, government data show. LNG purchases from nations including Australia and Qatar advanced 20 percent to 12.9 million tons and cost about 4 percent more than piped supplies, even before the cost of regasification.

Coal imports, including lignite, climbed 6.5 percent in November from a year earlier to a record 28.98 million tons, the customs data showed today. The figure was reported Dec. 18 by the China Coal Transport & Distribution Association.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Jing Yang in Shanghai at jyang251@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net

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