China Diesel Exports Rise to Record as Flooding Damps Demand

  • Diesel fuel shipments climb to 1.53 million tons in July
  • Gasoline exports slip from record as production slows

China’s diesel exports rebounded to a record in July as severe flooding in some parts of the country curbed domestic fuel demand.

The world’s largest energy consumer exported 1.53 million tons of diesel last month, a 39 percent jump from June and beating the previous record in May, according to data posted Sunday on the website of the General Administration of Customs. Shipments averaged about 368,190 barrels a day. While gasoline exports in July slipped from a record the previous month, they more than doubled from last year to 970,000 tons (261,270 barrels a day).

China’s worst flooding since 1998 will reduce the nation’s oil demand by as much as 10 percent in July and August, Morgan Stanley analysts including Adam Longson said in a report earlier this month. The floods caused about $33 billion in economic losses last month, according to London-based insurance broker Aon Plc.

“Heavier-than-usual flooding starting from June has markedly damped road transportation and construction,” Lin Jiaxin, an analyst with ICIS China, said before the data were released. “Refiners had to ship excess fuels overseas to lower stockpiles.”

Gasoline shipments slowed as output growth in July was the weakest since February 2015. Production rose 1.6 percent from a year ago to 10.54 million tons last month, compared with June’s increase of 8.7 percent, according to data released Wednesday by the National Bureau of Statistics. Refineries may be slowing production as domestic demand for the motor fuel is weaker than expected, which may put a lid on gasoline exports, Lin said.

Kerosene exports rose to a seven-month high of 1.09 million tons. Liquefied natural gas imports fell 16.4 percent from the previous year to 1.6 million tons, while natural gas shipments via pipeline rose 20.5 percent to 2.1 million tons.

— With assistance by Jing Yang

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