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aws全区号(www.2km.me)_Rare China statement on gas and diesel release weighs on crude prices

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BEIJING: A rare public statement from China that it was releasing gasoline and diesel reserves to boost market supply and stabilise prices pushed international crude benchmarks lower on Monday.

Brent crude fell 0.2% and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude shed 0.4% after the statement from China's National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration on Sunday. Market watchers said it was the first time Beijing announced the regular rotation for gasoline and diesel publicly.

The release of reserves comes as local media has reported tight diesel supplies and long lines at gas stations in recent weeks as Chinese refiners cut fuel production due to squeeze in margins.

Beijing has taken steps to cool a stellar commodity price rally this year, releasing crude oil and base metals to cool prices in a rare move in the last few months.

"(Oil) product rotation should be more common than crude (oil releases from reserves)," said, Sengyick Tee, analyst at Beijing-based consultancy SIA Energy said, but such moves are not typically confirmed in official statements.

He said Sunday's move could be the first time Beijing has publicly announced a release of oil products.

"Words are bigger than actions, (China) learned it from OPEC+," he said, referring to communications on supply from the alliance of the world's major oil producers that can have the effect of lowering market prices.

The state reserves bureau did not disclose the volume released in its statement on Sunday.

"The rotation of gasoline and diesel from storage this time will be used to increase market resources, ease supply tensions, and give play to the regulatory role of the national refined oil reserve market," it said.

Mia Geng, analyst from FGE, said national oil firms were already ramping up runs and increasing gasoil supply this month.

Sinopec Corp, Asia's largest oil refiner, plans to fully utilise domestic refining capacity in November and boost diesel supply by 29% from a year earlier to ensure filling stations do not run out of stock, a spokesman said earlier last week.

PetroChina increased its crude oil imports by 10% year-on-year in October and ramped up diesel supply by 23%, state television CCTV reported on Sunday, citing a company official.

"Considering the demand downside from the current COVID-19 resurgence and the upcoming winter, the need for significant stocks release is limited," Geng added.

DIESEL CRUNCH Several regions in central and southern China have seen long lines of trucks queueing at gas stations but were only able to get small portions due to tight diesel supplies and rationing by the fuel stations, local media reported in recent weeks.

A hefty import tax on some diesel blending feedstocks has also weighed on fuel output.

Wholesale diesel prices in manufacturing and exporting hub Guangzhou city gained 26% since September, hitting a three-year high of 8,120 yuan ($1,268.00) a tonne last Friday, according to data compiled by China-based Longzhong consultancy.

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