China’s exports of marine fuels fell 7% year-on-year in the first half of the year as lockdowns affected trade

China Customs said today that Chinese exports of low-sulfur marine fuels in June were unchanged from May at 1.41 million tons, with year-to-date sales down 7% from earlier levels.

Exports totaled 9.09 million tons in the first half of 2022, down from 9.81 million tons a year earlier. Sales of bunker fuel affected by the slowdown in COVID-19 lockdown measures, which is why trade came to a standstill.

Exports of sulfur-containing fuel oil fell by 0.5%, also in line with the decline in the country’s refinery output. This is the first annual decline since at least 2011.

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The average Chinese VLSFO price rose by three-quarters between January and June to $859 per metric ton for deliveries at the Port of Zhoushan, the main bunker handling hub in China.

Data from China’s General Administration of Customs show that imports in the general trade category fell last month to their lowest level so far this year, at around 192,000 tons. However, in the January-June period, imports were up 137% year-on-year.

Most imports in this category are produced by independent petrochemical companies and independent refiners as raw materials.

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