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China Net-Diesel Exports Rise to Highest Level in 16 Months

China’s net-diesel exports rose to the highest level in 16 months in July as the nation’s demand for the fuel dropped to the lowest level this year.

Net exports, or overseas sales minus imports, climbed to 143,560 metric tons, the most since March 2011, according to customs data released today. Apparent demand, which includes domestic production and excludes stockpiles, was 3.32 million barrels a day, compared with 3.34 million in June.

Chinese refiners “increased diesel exports in July to run down high stockpiles,” Liao Kaishun, an analyst with C1 Energy, said by phone from Guangzhou. “Exports will drop going forward as inventories should have returned to normal levels.”

Diesel exports were at 179,921 tons, the highest since September, while imports fell 74 percent from a year earlier to 36,361 tons, the data showed. Imports of liquefied natural gas were at 1.3 million tons, up 13 percent, and coal purchases, including lignite, rose 14 percent to 24.27 million tons.

China’s fuel-oil consumption rebounded to 559,210 barrels a day from 539,750 barrels in June, a five-month low, according to the data. It was 9 percent higher from a year earlier.

Fuel-oil use rose as Chinese private refineries increased purchases. Processing rates at the plants in eastern China’s Shandong province rose for a fifth week to 36.3 percent of capacity in the week ended Aug. 16, the highest in two months, the local industry website said on Aug. 17, citing a survey.

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