China's April Fuel Oil Imports Rise Further to Decade-High

May 20, 2023, 08.41 PM | Source: Reuters
China's April Fuel Oil Imports Rise Further to Decade-High

ILUSTRASI. A VLCC oil tanker is seen at a crude oil terminal in Ningbo Zhoushan port, Zhejiang province, China.

OIL AND GAS - BEIJING. China's April fuel oil imports surged further from the prior month, almost hitting a decade-high, while exports of low-sulphur marine fuels plunged from March, General Administration of Customs data showed on Saturday. 

Total fuel oil imports last month jumped almost three times from a year earlier to 2.67 million tonnes, a level not seen since May 2013. 

"The ongoing crackdown on cargoes mislabeled as 'diluted bitumen' could keep fuel oil as the preferred alternative feedstock for smaller independents without crude import quotas," said consultancy FGE late Friday. 

Apart from this, China has been stepping up fuel oil purchases for use as refinery feedstocks since late 2022, led by firm appetite for discounted and blended barrels of Russian fuel loaded out of Malaysia. 

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The exports, measured mostly by sales from bonded storage for vessels plying international routes, totalled 1.36 million tonnes in April, down 30% from March. 

Within Asia, more shippers have opted to refuel at Singapore instead of Chinese ports as prices were more competitive at Singapore, according to trade sources. 

Prices of bunker fuel delivered at the key Chinese port Zhoushan were $5 to $20 higher than prices at Singapore in April, they said. 

Editor: Wahyu T.Rahmawati

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