China’s Gasoline Stockpiles Increase to Record High in April

May 23, 2014 4:57 am ET

(Updates with diesel, kerosene in last paragraph.)

May 23 (Bloomberg) -- China’s gasoline inventories rose to a record high for a second month as refiners in the world’s second-largest oil consumer faced losses on exports.

Stockpiles of the motor fuel increased by 0.69 percent in April from a month earlier, China Oil, Gas & Petrochemicals, a newsletter published by the official Xinhua News Agency, said in an e-mail today. Supplies are estimated at 7.53 million metric tons, or 63.8 million barrels, the most since Bloomberg started compiling the data in January 2010.

Refiners including China Petrochemical Corp. and PetroChina Co. are building inventories amid weak domestic demand, according to ICIS-C1, a Shanghai-based commodities researcher. Gasoline-export margins averaged minus 366 yuan ($58.70) a ton in the first four months of this year, said Chen Li, an ICIS analyst in Guangzhou.

China exported a net 308,030 tons of the motor fuel in April, data from the General Administration of Customs in Beijing showed yesterday. That’s down 43 percent from March, when the nation shipped the most gasoline overseas in more than three years. Apparent oil demand, a local measure of consumption, dropped to 9.76 million barrels a day, the slowest rate in seven months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Gasoline demand in China, which trails the U.S. in total oil consumption, may rebound from this month as motorists use more air-conditioning in cars, according to Chen.

“As summer approaches, we expect demand to recover from May and stocks to start falling,” she said by phone today.

Diesel stockpiles fell 6.6 percent to an estimated 9.58 million tons, while kerosene supplies dropped 3.8 percent to 1.8 million tons.