Chinese gas exports surge 27% in 2019 amid refining boom

Chinese gas exports surge 27% in 2019 amid refining boom
Published: 25 January 2020 - 3 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery
China's gasoline exports surged nearly a third in 2019, as a surge in new refineries combined with a slump in vehicle sales produced a domestic fuel surplus.

Exports of gasoline from China climbed to 16.37 million tonnes last year, up 27% from 2018, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.

For December, exports reached 1.73 million tonnes, up 36% from the same month a year earlier, data showed.

The increase in fuel exports follows a rapid growth of refining capacity in China, with 28.5 million tonnes per annual new capacity added in 2019, said a report from Reuters newswire.

That additional capacity pushed China's refinery runs to a record 13.04 million barrels per day (bpd), data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on 17 January.

Amid China's slowdown in economic growth, analysts from the research arm of state firm China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) expect domestic gasoline and diesel demand will remain under pressure in 2020, as China is forecast to add 27 million tonnes of new refining capacity.

"To balance supply and demand in domestic market, we expect at least 64.5 million tonnes of fuel will be exported in 2020," said Zhang Diqiu, an oil analyst at CNPC's research body, said in a note before Thursday's data was released.

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