China Feb gasoline exports jump to 2nd-highest on record, imports plunge

BEIJING (Reuters) -- China's gasoline exports in February climbed to their second-highest monthly level on record as refiners increasingly turn to exports to Asian markets to drain a domestic supply glut that almost wiped out imports altogether.

Gasoline exports rose 77% in February compared with the same month a year earlier to 1.06 MMt, just short of the monthly record of 1.1 MMt set in June last year, data from the Chinese customs authority showed on Thursday.

Meanwhile diesel exports jumped 67% compared with February 2016 to 1.32 MMt, climbing from 965,000 t in January.

Strong exports of refined fuel products reflected persistence excess in the domestic market as China's refiners maintain a record pace of crude oil buying and high rates of operation.

China became a net exporter of fuel products in late 2016. Gasoline imports last month slumped to just 7,245 t, tumbling 94% from the same period last year, leaving net exports at 1.05 MMt.

Diesel imports in February dropped 52% from a year ago to 50,000 t, while liquefied natural gas imports rose 29% year on year to 2.37 MMt, the customs data showed.

Reporting by Beijing monitor team and Chen Aizhu; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Kenneth Maxwell

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