BEIJING- China's exports of very low-sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) rose 31.2% in June from a year earlier to 1.66 million tonnes, General Administration of Customs data showed on Tuesday, as attractive prices drew clients from other bunker hubs.
In the first half of 2021 exports of VLSFO, which has a maximum sulphur content of 0.5% to comply with emission rules set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), jumped 52.1% to 9.81 million tonnes.
China's VLSFO production capacity reached around 20 million tonnes per annum as of the end of June, up 53% from the same period last year, according to data tracked by China-based Longzhong consultancy.
The data provider also estimates China's VLSFO output at 5.5 million tonnes in the first six months this year, up 60% on a year earlier.
The expansion of production helped lower prices of Chinese bunker fuel and boosted its market share in the region.
The average premium of the Zhoushan-delivered marine fuel to the Singapore delivered grade was about $1 per tonne in the first half of 2021, compared with $16 per tonne in January-June last year.
Customs data on Tuesday also showed that 746,922 tonnes of fuel oil, including both high-sulphur and low-sulphur products, were brought into bonded storage in June. Total imports were down 34.4% on the year to 998,390 tonnes.
(Reporting by Muyu Xu and Shivani Singh) ((email@example.com; +86 10 56692117;))