The Chinese government is set to release 2 million tonnes of refined fuel export quotas for this year, taking total quotas for 2018 to about 48 million tonnes, according to two sources briefed on the matter on Nov. 27.

These new quotas, mostly gasoline and diesel and following the release of 2.93 million tonnes of quotas a month ago, reflect slower than expected domestic demand for transportation fuels, one of the sources said.

At 48 million tonnes, this year's quotas would represent an increase of 12% on last year.

All these quotas went to state oil companies, which had requested additional volumes for export to prevent having to cut their refinery throughput in the fourth quarter.

The latest issue will fall under the general-trade category, under which refiners will receive tax refunds after exports are completed, the sources said.

The press office of the Ministry of Commerce did not answer Reuters' call seeking comment as it's out of business hours.