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BEIJING/SINGAPORE: China's gasoline exports soared to a record high in October, customs data showed on Monday, as refiners sought to pare back swelling inventory built up as China processed record amounts of oil. The country's gasoline exports rose to 1.91 million tonnes in October, the most since Reuters began keeping a record in 1999, and up from 1.17 million tonnes in September and 10% higher than the 1.73 million tonnes exported in October 2019.

China processed a record amount of oil last month to meet a rise in fuel demand during a week-long national holiday and solid appetite from government-led infrastructure projects. Diesel shipments were at 2.17 million tonnes, up 82% from the month prior and up 83% from a year earlier, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

Jet kerosene exports also increased, to 440,000 tonnes from 260,000 tonnes the previous month.

"Despite tepid demand overseas, refiners have pressure to raise exports in order to meet the annual target," said Li Yan, an analyst at China-based Longzhong consultancy, before the data release.

China has issued a new and final batch of refined fuel export quotas for 2020 totalling 3 million tonnes, including its first sizeable quota to a giant private refiner, Reuters reported earlier on Monday, paving the way for more exports for the remainder of the year.

In the first 10 months of the year, China exported 50.98 million tonnes of refined oil products. The customs data also showed China's liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports rose 25% to 5.02 million tonnes in October from a year earlier.