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RPT-China's May low-sulphur marine fuel exports drop 18% vs April

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    BEIJING, June 20 (Reuters) - China's exports of clean marine
fuel in May dipped 18% from a month earlier, as stringent
COVID-19 disinfection measures imposed at ports deterred
international vessels from refuelling in the country.
    Data from the General Administration of Customs showed
exports of very low-sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO), a clean marine
fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5%, were 1.55 million
tonnes.
    That was down 1.9 million tonnes sold in April but still up
from 1.31 million tonnes in May last year.
    For the first five months of 2021, exports totalled 8.15
million tonnes, the data showed.
    A new wave of COVID-19 outbreak in southern China, leading
to tougher disinfection restrictions and weeks-long port
congestion, may hurdled bunker fuel business in the region.

    Sinopec, China's biggest bunker fuel supplier, said in a
statement this week that bunker fuel filling was facing
difficulties at Yantian port in Shenzhen and staffs involved in
filling business had to be quarantined for 14 days.
    However, following a surge in fuel output and thriving
trade, China's growing influence in marine fuels has allowed its
suppliers to lure business with more competitive prices.

    The discount of China's Zhoushan-delivered bunker fuel
averaged $3.83 per million tonnes compared to
Singapore-delivered products in May and dipped to a multi-month
low of $15.25 per million tonnes on May 25, according to Platts
data.
    Customs data also showed that fuel oil imports into bonded
storage, which include both high-sulphur and low-sulphur
materials, reached 1.06 million tonnes in May, down 31% from a
year ago.
    The table below shows China's fuel oil imports and exports,
all in metric tonnes.
    The column of exports under bonded storage trade largely
captures China's VLSFO bunkering sales along its coast.
    
 Exports     Bonded storage trade   y/y% change
 January     1,652,766              101.6
 February    1,366,305              84.4
 March       1,683,581              57.5
 April       1,896,919              33.3
 May         1,553,512              37.3
 Imports     Ordinary      Bonded        Total      y/y%
             Trade         storage                  change
 January     87,147        680,956       768,103    -30.7
 February    99,024        874,311       973,335    39.5
 March       17,227        905,960       923,154    7.2
 April       117,778       771,034       888,812    -17
 May         278,554       781,135       1,059,944  -31.1
    

 (Reporting by Muyu Xu and Dominique Patton, editing by Louise
Heavens)
  
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