China’s Aug jet fuel exports extend downtrend to hit multiyear low at 300,000 mt

Highlights

Jet fuel exports set to remain low in Q4

January-August total product exports down 10%

September-December quota availability at 6 million mt/month

Singapore —
China’s jet fuel exports extended a downtrend to hit a fresh multiyear low at 300,000 mt in August, down 5.4% from July, amid continuing weak global demand, General Administration of Customs released Sept. 24 showed.

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This was the lowest level since China’s jet fuel exports hit 298,000 mt in February 2011, historical data showed.

Most of the August volume was likely sent to China’s international airports to refuel airplanes plying international routes rather than as cargo exports into the seaborne market, information collected by S&P Global Platts suggested.

“No jet fuel cargo exports from our refinery for a few months, even in September, while the supplies to [Shanghai] Pudong International Airport are also low because demand from international flights remains very low,” a Shanghai-based Sinopec refiner said on Sept. 16. “But domestic demand for jet fuel is recovering, so we don’t have much inventory available for export either,” he added.

China’s jet fuel demand from domestic flights has recovered to 90% of pre-COVID levels, but demand from international flights was still below 10% of usual levels, a Beijing-based source with Unipec said.

The country’s refiners capped jet fuel output at 3.42 million mt in August, a 27.6% year-on-year reduction but up 3% from July, to keep domestic inventory at comfortable levels, data from National Bureau of Statistics showed.

Trading sources expected China’s jet fuel exports to remain low in the fourth quarter as they did not see any sign of restrictions on international travel easing until a COVID-19 vaccine was available.

GASOIL EXPORTS REBOUND 97%

On the other hand, China’s gasoil exports rebounded 97.1% to 1.09 million mt in August from a 61-month low of 553,000 mt in July, GAC data showed, as producers strived to lower domestic stocks.

Gasoline exports remained on an uptrend, rising 9% on month to 1.22 million mt.

As a result, China’s exports of the three key oil products totaled 2.61 million mt in August, jumping 31.2% on month.

However, the total volume over January-August was down 10.4% year on year at 31.59 million mt, leaving about 24.44 million mt or 6.11 million mt/month of product export quota available for September-December, GAC and Platts’ data showed.

CHINA’S KEY OIL PRODUCTS EXPORTS :

(Unit: ‘000 mt)

Aug-20

Aug-19

Change

Jul-20

Change

Gasoline

1,220

1,058

15.3%

1,119

9.0%

Jet fuel

300

1,190

-74.8%

317

-5.4%

Gasoil

1,090

1,323

-17.6%

553

97.1%

Total

2,610

3,571

-26.9%

1,990

31.2%

Jan-Aug 20

Jan-Aug 19

Change

Gasoline

10,220

9,393

8.8%

Jet fuel

8,380

10,997

-23.8%

Gasoil

12,990

14,880

-12.7%

Total

31,590

35,270

-10.4%

Source: General Administration of Customs