China's March diesel exports hover near record on high stocks

Diesel shipments totalled 2.81mln tonnes last month

  
Image used for illustrative purpose only. Pumpjacks are seen at an oil field in Huaian, Jiangsu province, China November 11, 2017. Picture taken November 11, 2017.

Image used for illustrative purpose only. Pumpjacks are seen at an oil field in Huaian, Jiangsu province, China November 11, 2017. Picture taken November 11, 2017.

REUTERS/Stringer

BEIJING - China's diesel exports in March hovered near a record level, data showed on Sunday, as companies battled to ease brimming domestic inventories.

Diesel shipments totalled 2.81 million tonnes last month, versus previous monthly record at 2.83 million tonnes in March 2020, data from the General Administration of Chinese Customs showed.

Exports of gasoline, however, eased 14.6% from a year earlier to 1.56 million tonnes, compared with 1.83 million tonnes in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic had dampended Chinese demand for the motor fuel.

"Diesel supplies way exceeded demand resulting in very high stocks and also the lowest wholesale prices in several years," Wang Zhao, senior analyst with consultancy Sublime Information Group, said ahead of the data release.

"Gasoline is a lot more balanced."

Jet fuel exports fell 51.6% on year to 0.71 million tonnes as international flights remain in the doldrums, although domestic air travel is strong.

The data also showed imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) increased 36.5% on year to 5.64 million tonnes in March, although the winter heating system in the world's second-largest buyer typically ends in mid-March in northern China.

(Reporting by Aizhu Chen and Stella Qiu; Editing by Lincoln Feast) ((aizhu.chen@thomsonreuters.com; +65 6870 3284; Reuters Messaging: aizhu.chen.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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