In a survey conducted by Bloomberg News, China may cut overseas fuel sales by more than 200,000 tonnes next year. It currently exports around 655,500 tonnes of fuel a month.
The rising number of car sales - growing at a rate that is double than the rates in Japan and the US - has been attributed to China's rapidly expanding economy. Such is the demand for cars that both Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Co have set up production plants in China. Even oil giants BP Plc and Royal Dutch/Shell Group are spending a combined total of US$450 million to build their petrol stations in the country.
The result of this for the rest of Asia is simple. According to Akira Kamiyama, an oil and fuels trader with Mitsui & Co, "Gasoline demand in China is so strong [that] gasoline prices are sky-rocketing." Prices in Singapore for oil, Asia's largest oil-trading centre, have gone up by 28% as a result of China's plans to cut its exports.