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China Cuts Gasoline Exports, Imports More Diesel Before Holiday

China cut gasoline exports to the lowest level in almost three years in December and diesel imports reached their 2011 high as fuel was stockpiled to meet increased demand for transport around the Lunar New Year break.

Net gasoline exports fell to 164,392 metric tons last month, the lowest since March 2009, and net purchases of diesel were around 210,000 metric tons, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs today.

One billion people traveled by rail and road in the nation in the 13 days through yesterday, in time to celebrate the weeklong holiday with their families, according to the central government. The holiday begins Jan. 23 this year.

China also increased its oil processing last month to a record 9.28 million barrels a day, with both gasoline and diesel production rising to the highest monthly volumes ever, data from the Beijing-based China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing showed Jan. 17. Diesel stockpiles rose 10 percent during December, the biggest jump since February, and gasoline inventory increased 1.4 percent, according to a newsletter by the official Xinhua News Agency.

The nation’s gasoline exports fell 21.2 percent last year to 4.06 million tons, while diesel imports climbed 35.5 percent to 2.44 million tons, today’s data showed.

Coal imports totaled 21.38 million tons in December, bringing the year’s total to 182.4 million tons, up 10.8 percent from 2010. Imports of liquefied natural gas rose to a record 1.51 million tons last month with 2011’s total at 12.2 million tons, up 30.7 percent, the data showed.

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