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China: Thousands of Truck Drivers Riot in Shanghai Over Fuel Prices


Cryptogon points to some recent reports about unrest in China over fuel prices – China: Thousands of Truck Drivers Riot in Shanghai Over Fuel Prices.

ZeroHedge is right:

China is now between a rock and a hard place: will it continue happily importing Bernanke’s inflation exports or finally retaliate. Unfortunately for its economy, the appropriately called “nuclear option” of revaluation, will leave it export economy flailing. So the real question: is China ready to migrate from an export-led to a consumer-led model. Alas, the answer is a resounding no.

Via: Reuters:

A two-day strike over rising fuel prices turned violent in Shanghai on Thursday as thousands of truck drivers clashed with police, drivers said, in the latest example of simmering discontent over inflation.

About 2,000 truck drivers battled baton-wielding police at an intersection near Waigaoqiao port, Shanghai’s biggest, two drivers who were at the protest told Reuters.

Kevin also notes China is restricting exports of refined fuel – China Halts Fuel Exports to Ensure Domestic Supply.

Some context is necessary on this story.

China is a huge net oil importer. This is from the U.S. Department of Energy:

China’s net oil imports reached about 4.3 million bbl/d in 2009, making it the second-largest net oil importer in the world behind the United States and for the first time surpassing Japan’s imports.

Conversely, China, “Only exports limited amounts of gasoline and high-sulfur diesel to Vietnam and Indonesia.”

In other words, the geopolitical foreshadowing of this is far more significant than any immediate shortages that may result.

Via: Bloomberg:

China Petrochemical Corp., Asia’s biggest oil refiner, halted fuel exports to ensure domestic supply as high crude costs and retail price caps cause private refiners to cut back on production.

Sinopec Group, as the company is known, “stopped exporting to other regions apart from sustaining the basic resource needs of Hong Kong and Macau,” it said in its online newsletter today. The Beijing-based company will run its refineries at full capacity and cut petrochemical production to boost output of gasoline and diesel for domestic use, it said.

Peak Energy

2 Comments on "China: Thousands of Truck Drivers Riot in Shanghai Over Fuel Prices"

  1. Richard Ralph Roehl on Tue, 26th Apr 2011 2:25 am 

    Here in Amerika, the corn-$yrup people are too busy stuffing themselves with faster poo-foods (and ‘Dancing with the $tars’ on bread an’ circus boobtube) to riot or even protest their demise.

  2. Kenz300 on Tue, 26th Apr 2011 11:54 pm 

    The rising world demand for oil (China and India) and the flat or declining supply will make all of us use energy more wisely. The real question is will the change to alternative fuels and energy efficiency happen soon enough to offset the decline. A gradual rise in oil prices will give society some time to adapt and find alternatives. A swift decline in oil supply will cause dramatic tensions in societies trying to adjust. The fuel riots in China are just the start. Bring on the electric, flex-fuel, hybrid fuel efficient vehicles. 40 MPG is better than 20 MPG. Second generation biofuels made from algae, cellulose and waste are the future.
    Waste Management is making both fuel and energy from the waste that is delivered daily. This is basically free inputs to the process. The world produces a lot of trash every day that can be converted into energy.

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