China increased gasoline exports to the highest level in three months in June as the nation’s domestic demand fell to the lowest since March.
Net exports, or overseas sales minus imports, of the motor fuel almost doubled to 261,997 metric tons last month compared with May, customs data showed today. Apparent demand, which includes domestic production and excludes stockpiles, was at 1.9 million barrels a day, down 0.8 percent from a month earlier.
“The rainy season in May and June curbed gasoline use and the refiners wanted to lower their inventory,” Liao Kaishun, an analyst with C1 Energy said by telephone from Guangzhou. “Exports may drop in the following months as summer is usually a peak consumption season.”
Net imports of fuel oil slid 13 percent to 220,133 barrels a day last month from May, today’s data showed. Apparent demand declined for a fourth month by 9 percent to 522,339 barrels a day. That’s the lowest level since January, when consumption was curbed by the weeklong Chinese Lunar New Year holiday.
The commodity is used as ship fuel and as feedstock for private refineries to produce gasoline and diesel. The so-called teapot plants, located mostly in Shandong province, cut operating rates to 25.7 percent of their designed capacity in the week to June 28, the lowest since April 2010, according to Oilchem.net, an industry website.
China remained a net importer of diesel in June, with 103,189 tons of imports and 76,618 tons of exports, today’s data showed.