China has issued a third batch of non-state crude import quotas for 2020, sending the amount awarded so far this year more than 10pc above the total for 2019.The commerce ministry (MoC) issued another 26.84mn t (196mn bl) of import quotas to non-state firms, taking the total amount for 2020 to around 1.35bn bl (3.68mn b/d). The MoC awarded three batches of non-state import quotas totaling 3.33mn b/d last year.
The latest award was announced well before of the equivalent batch last year, as was the case with the second round of quotas that were granted in April.State-owned ChemChina received the largest quota in the latest round at 62.8mn bl, after not receiving any quotas in the second batch. The company’s total quota for this year is 125mn bl, behind only major private-sector refiners Hengli and ZPC.
Rongsheng’s ZPC refinery in Zhoushan and Hengli’s Changxing island plant in Dalian, both of which have 400,000 b/d of capacity, received awards of 17.5mn bl and 14.6mn bl respectively. These are much lower than the quotas they were awarded in the first two batches. Total 2020 quotas for ZPC and Hengli now stand at 146mn bl each, up by 167pc and 19pc from 2019 respectively.
The MoC awarded quotas to 17 firms in the latest batch. Shandong independent Tianhong was the third biggest recipient with 16.1mn bl, after not receiving any quota in the second round.
Most of this year’s third batch was issued to Shandong independents that were left out of the second round. Lihuayi Lijin is the only refiner other than Hengli and ZPC to be included in all three batches, with a total quota of 25.6mn bl for 2020.
The MoC also granted a qualification — although not yet an import quota — to Fujian Minhai Energy International, putting it in line to become the first company based in the Fujian free-trade zone to win a quota.
Import quotas awarded in the first two batches are now almost used up. But buying interest at Shandong independents has been dented by congestion at ports in the province and slow downstream demand. It is unclear whether any more quotas will be issued this year.