China’s export companies plan to increase gasoline exports in December by 30.7% from November to 2 million mt, while reducing gasoil exports by 28.5% to 1.3 million mt as domestic demand absorbs this output, sources with knowledge of the matter told S&P Global Platts.
The potential increase in gasoline exports was mainly attributed to Zhejiang Petroleum & Chemical, which is planning to ship at least 500,000 mt of gasoline overseas in December after it exported its first 60,000 mt gasoline cargo on Nov. 26.
“We will probably export a bit more in order to fulfill the quota,” a company source said on Dec. 7, but added that the volume also depends on the market structure as well as the refinery’s logistics capability.
Trading companies also expect ZPC’s gasoline exports to be about 500,000-600,000 mt.
In November, the privately-held company was granted its first oil product export quota of 1 million mt for the remainder of 2020.
ZPC has loaded three gasoline cargoes in a row totaling 163,000 mt since end-November, from three different berths in Zhoushan port, according to a local news report from the Wechat account of Zhoushan Daily on Dec 8.
This includes 37,000 mt of RON 92 gasoline loaded via Cielo Di Houston, 66,000 mt loaded via Cielo Di Rotterdam, as well as 60,000 mt via Hafnia Shenzhen, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.
Cielo Di Houston departed the Zhoushan port on Dec. 6 and is heading to Singapore, according to cFlow, Platts trade-flow software. Around 60,000 mt of gasoline has been loaded via Hafnia Shenzhen in late November, Platts reported earlier.
Meanwhile, Sinochem plans to lift its gasoline exports to 230,000 mt in December from 170,000 mt in November.
The increment outpaces the 40,000 mt month-on-month reduction from PetroChina, which plans to export 710,000 mt of gasoline this month.
PetroChina was granted 1.95 million mt additional oil product export quotas in November, together with ZPC and Norinco.
But the oil giant will likely cut exports of both gasoline and gasoil from November levels despite the additional quota as local demand remains strong.
PetroChina plans to export 720,000 mt of gasoil in December, which is 180,000 mt below the 900,000 mt from a month ago, according to sources.
Its leading export refinery Dalian Petrochemical had cut gasoil exports by 25% from November to 240,000 mt, because demand for low-vapor gasoil in northeastern China has been strong due to low temperatures during the winter season, a refinery source said.
In addition, Sinopec’s planned export volume of gasoil will also likely slump 45% month on month to 427,000 mt in December on robust domestic demand.
Therefore, China’s total planned gasoil exports will likely drop to 1.3 million mt despite the planned export of 35,000 mt by new quota holder Norinco from its North Huajin Chemical refinery in mid-December.