(Updates with net diesel exports in second paragraph.)
March 21 (Bloomberg) -- China’s gasoline exports rose to the highest level in almost a year in February as the nation ramped up production of the motor fuel before the Lunar New Year holiday, when workers traveled back to their home towns.
Overseas shipments climbed 62 percent from a year earlier to 333,309 metric tons, the General Administration of Customs said in an e-mailed statement today. That’s the equivalent of 101,000 barrels a day, the most since March 2012. Diesel exports exceeded imports by 209,135 tons, or 56,000 barrels a day, the least in four months.
China, the world’s second-biggest oil consumer, boosted gasoline production by 14 percent in the first two months of the year, according to government data. While refineries strive to meet domestic demand, they also risk generating a surplus as new refining capacity comes online. The nation faces a fuel glut this year, China National Petroleum Corp. said in its annual report Jan. 30. China may add 770,000 barrels a day of processing capacity in 2013 to be run at a relatively high utilization rate, JPMorgan Chase & Co. said in a Feb. 26 note.
Diesel exports in February more than tripled from a year earlier to 254,871 tons and imports fell 74 percent to 45,736 metric tons, today’s data show. Domestic diesel production fell 0.5 percent in the first two months from a year earlier.
Fuel Oil Purchases
China’s fuel oil imports slid 13 percent to 2.44 million tons, or 58,000 barrels a day, from the prior month. Imports for January and February combined climbed 13 percent from a year earlier to 5.25 million tons.
Fuel oil imports from Iran were 232,183 tons, the customs figures show. That’s biggest volume since June 2008 from the Persian Gulf country, which is under Western sanctions on its energy exports because of its nuclear program. Crude imports from Iran rose 74 percent from a year earlier and 52 percent from January to 2 million tons, or 520,000 barrels a day, the data show.
Coal imports, including lignite, increased 13 percent from a year earlier to 23.3 million tons, the customs bureau said. That’s the lowest volume in four months and down 34 percent from December’s record of 35.1 million.
Liquefied natural gas imports were at 1.41 million tons, up 71 percent from a year earlier, and pipeline natural gas imports, mostly from Turkmenistan, climbed 19 percent to 1.52 million tons.
--Jing Yang, with assistance from Winnie Zhu in Singapore and Sarah Chen in Beijing. Editors: Paul Gordon, Mike Anderson