(Reuters) – China’s exports of ultra-low sulfur marine fuel rebounded 13.22% in July from June as the country’s merchandise exports recovered but still stood at nearly 9.69% below the level of a year ago, customs data showed on Saturday.
Exports of ultra-low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO), measured primarily by sales from China’s bonded storage for ships traveling international routes, were 1.60 million tonnes, according to data from the General Administration of customs.
This compared to 1.408 million tonnes in June and 1.766 million tonnes a year earlier. China’s July merchandise exports rose 18% on the year at the fastest pace this year, an encouraging boost for the economy as it struggles to recover from a slump induced by the COVID, but weakening global demand could start to weigh on shipments in the coming months.
Container traffic for foreign trade at eight major Chinese ports rose 14.5 percent in July, accelerating from 8.4 percent growth in June, according to data from the China Port Association. But strict COVID measures and rare heat waves in the eastern and southern provinces, where the country’s main export hubs are located, have weighed on factory output, limiting shipments. Weaker-than-expected growth in merchandise imports, up just 2.3% year-on-year, also limited further growth in marine fuel. VLSFO’s exports for the January-July period reached 10.69 million tons, compared to 11.52 million tons in the same period last year.
Imports of fuel oil into bonded storage, including high sulfur and low sulfur products, fell nearly 57.96% on the year to 0.31 million tonnes.
The table below shows China’s fuel oil imports and exports, all in metric tons.
The export column under bonded storage trade largely represents China’s low-sulphur oil bunker sales along its coasts.
Bonded exports a/a pct
January 2 329 677 40
February 1,314,684 -3.8
March 1,418,758 -15.5
April 1,217,794 -35.7
May 1,404,540 -9.4
June 1,408,737 -15
July 1,595,021 -9.69
Ordinary bonded imports Total y/y pct
Change of commercial storage trade
January 202 456 620 707 823 163 7.2
February 317 825 547 894 865 720 -11.1
March 415,471,560 420,975,892 4.2
April 360,049 346,856 706,906 -20.4
May 531,450 500,452 1,031,902 -2.6
June 191 636 636 042 827 678 -17
July 432,050 307,723 739,773 -45.95
(Reporting by Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Sam Holmes)