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China's Unipec to ship jet fuel from Asia to Europe in rare move: sources

[SINGAPORE] China's Unipec, the trading arm of state oil major Sinopec, is planning to ship jet fuel from Asia to Europe for the first time in several years, three industry sources told Reuters.

The company has provisionally booked the long-range (LR) 2 vessel Mei Lin Wan to ship jet fuel from Singapore to the United Kingdom-Continent (UKC) and is looking to fix another vessel on a similar route, two of the sources said.

The ship is currently sailing from Japan to Singapore and is due to arrive in the city-state on June 21, shipping data on Thomson Reuters Eikon shows.

The last time Unipec did a similar voyage for jet fuel was a few years ago, the sources added.

Unipec exports about two to three medium-range (MR) tankers every month from its refineries in China which head to North America or Australia, one of the sources said.

It is exploring the voyage from Singapore to Europe as the economics to ship cargoes on this route are now profitable, the source added.

While Chinese customs data shows exports of jet fuel from China to Europe every month, the data usually reflects domestic sales to Sinopec's subsidiary in Hong Kong which in turn re-exports through airlines from Hong Kong, the source added.

Chinese jet fuel demand is also rising as air travel demand is hitting its summer peak and on lower domestic refinery operating rates, two middle distillates traders said on Monday.