China’s low-sulphur marine fuel exports fell 20% last month to 1.14 million tonnes compared with April, reflecting a monthly dip in demand from international shipping, Chinese customs data showed.
Chinese refiners began exporting very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) in January, with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5% to comply with emission rules set by the International Maritime Organization, after Beijing waived export taxes for domestic refiners to meet shipping demand.
Exports for the first five months totalled about 5.2 million tonnes, the data showed.
China has been striving to reduce its reliance on bunker fuel imports and create its own marine fuel hub to supply northern Asia.
China’s fuel oil imports into bonded storages jumped 50% in May versus April to 1.55 million tonnes, the highest so far this year, the data showed.
This could be due to traders moving cheaper fuel from Singapore to tankages in China, including some barrels for deliveries into Shanghai’s high-sulphur fuel oil futures contract, said a Singapore-based Chinese trader.