SINGAPORE/BEIJING: China’s gasoline exports fell 42.4 per cent in May from a year earlier and diesel shipments fell 37.8 per cent, customs data showed on Sunday.

Gasoline exports fell to 850,000 tonnes in May, down from 1.17 million tonnes in April, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

Diesel exports were at 1.24 million tonnes, down from 2.6 million tonnes in April, the data showed.

The export declines came even as a fuel glut in China worsened in the second quarter of the year as massive new refining facilities came on line, while demand for fuel, especially gasoline, slowed alongside declining sales of new cars.

Private firm Hengli Petrochemical Co Ltd ramped up production at its 400,000 barrels per day refinery in the country’s northeast in May.

Zhejiang Petrochemical, controlled by Rongsheng Petrochemical Co Ltd, began trial operations also in May at its 400,000-bpd plant in east China.

The glut had seen state refiners sending more cargoes abroad.

Sunday’s customs data also showed jet fuel exports rose 5.2 per cent in May from a year earlier to 1.49 million tonnes. That compared to 1.54 million tonnes in April.

Imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in May were 4.43 million tonnes, down from April’s 4.54 million tonnes, the customs data showed. That was 7.6 per cent higher than a year earlier.

LNG imports for the first five months of 2019 rose 20.3 per cent from a year earlier to 23.87 million tonnes, the data showed.