China's petrol, diesel exports hit record in March

China's surging imports of crude oil this year are the major driver of higher prices on the demand side, but the flip side to this is soaring Chinese fuel exports that are hurting profit margins at regional refiners.

China shipped 3.6 million tonnes of petrol, or about 312,000 bpd, and some 43 per cent above the 216,000 bpd exported in the same period of 2017.

The ability of China's refiners to export fuels has been aided by the higher crude import quotas granted this year to smaller, independent refiners by the authorities in Beijing.

What is becoming increasingly clear, though, is that China is emerging as a major player in the markets for refined fuels in Asia, especially since the authorities seem ready to allow refiners to import more crude and export surplus products. 

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