China’s oil imports in October rebounded to the highest level since May, up 14% from a low base for comparison a year earlier and their first year-over-year growth in five months, data showed on Monday, as two new refineries They were preparing to start operations.
The world’s largest importer of crude imported 43.14 million tons of oil last month, equivalent to 10.16 million barrels per day (bpd), according to data from the General Administration of Customs.
October imports grew from 9.8 million bpd in September.
The uptick came as PetroChina began trial production on a 200,000 bpd crude unit at its newly built refinery in Guangzhou, while privately held Shenghong Petrochemical also prepared to officially launch its 320,000 bpd plant in Jiangsu province.
Refineries also took advantage of a drop in world crude prices to replenish stocks, moving cargoes from the Americas and the Middle East.
Imports during the first 10 months of the year totaled 413.53 million tonnes, or about 9.93 million bpd, down 2.7% from the corresponding period last year.
Spurred by Beijing’s abrupt release of a slew of export quotas, companies shipped 4.456 million tonnes of refined fuel abroad last month, up 13% from a year earlier, the data showed.
However, year-to-date exports remained 24.5% below year-ago levels at 39.91m tonnes, due to a widespread restriction on fuel exports earlier in the year.
Natural gas imports last month via pipelines and as liquefied natural gas (LNG) sank to the lowest level in two years at 7.61 million tonnes, after a brief rise the previous month ahead of the off-season. boreal winter heating.
Year-to-date imports remained 10.4% lower than a year earlier at 88.73 million tonnes, due to sharp falls in LNG imports as companies slashed costly spot purchases. .
While forecasting slower demand growth this winter, local energy companies prioritized domestic production and pushed for pipelined gas imports from Russia and Central Asia.
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