China’s low-sulphur marine fuel exports fell 20% last month to 1.14 million tonnes compared with April, reflecting a monthly dip in demand from international shipping, Chinese customs data released late on Thursday showed.
Chinese refiners began exporting very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) in January, with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5% to comply with emission rules set by the International Maritime Organization, after Beijing waived export taxes for domestic refiners to meet shipping demand.
Exports for the first five months totalled about 5.2 million tonnes, the data showed.
China has been striving to reduce its reliance on bunker fuel imports and create its own marine fuel hub to supply northern Asia.
China’s fuel oil imports into bonded storages jumped 50% in May versus April to 1.55 million tonnes, the highest so far this year, the data showed.
This could be due to traders moving cheaper fuel from Singapore to tankages in China, including some barrels for deliveries into Shanghai’s high-sulphur fuel oil futures contract, said a Singapore-based Chinese trader.
The table below shows China’s fuel oil imports and exports.
The column of exports under bonded storage trade is the key data that captures China’s VLSFO bunkering sales along its coast.
(Volumes are in tonnes) Exports Bonded Processing or Monthly Year-To-Date storage tolling total trade Jan-Feb 1,560,681 -- 1,560,681 1,560,681 March 1,068,789 -- 1,068,789 2,629,470 April 1,425,085 8,100 1,433,185 4,062,655 May 1,143,929 NA 1,143,929 5,196,914 Imports General Bonded storage Monthly Year-to-date trade trade total Jan-Feb 199,770 2,516,123 2,716,957 2,716,957 March 208,462 747,236 955,698 3,672,655 April 67,657 1,029,406 1,097,063 4,769,718 May 46,892 1,553,326 1,600,218 6,275,290
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Chen Aizhu in Singapore, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)