China June Oil Refinery Throughput Close to Record
China's oil refineries ramped up throughput in June to
the second highest on record, with some independent
plants raising output even as state oil majors prepare to
take drastic steps to cut production during the peak
Throughput last month reached 46.08 million tonnes, or
11.21 million barrels per day (bpd), a 2.3-percent rise
year-on-year and up from May's 10.98 million bpd, data
from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on
That was just shy of December's record volume of 11.26
The higher throughput came after another month of strong
crude oil imports and as top refineries prepared to cut
output in the third quarter.
"Refinery runs were impressive considering that refinery
maintenance was still heavy," said Nevyn Nah, analyst at
Independent refiners, known as 'teapots', raised their
runs after receiving additional crude import quotas,
while oil majors kept their throughput roughly flat year
on-year, he said.
For the first six months, refinery production in the
world's second-largest fuel consumer gained 3 percent
from a year earlier to 275.21 million tonnes, or about
11.1 million bpd.
Upcoming cuts to production by the oil majors will not be
as deep as many in the market expect, added Nah, because
the planned cuts were from very high levels in the first
The NBS data on Monday also showed domestic crude oil
output fell 2.3 percent last month versus a year ago to
16.21 million tonnes, or 3.94 million bpd, but up from
May's 3.83 million bpd.
Output during the January-June period was down 5.1
percent on-year at about 3.89 million bpd.
Declines in China's crude oil output have slowed as major
oil producers raised spending to boost production as oil
prices stablized in a $48-$55 per barrel range, and
analysts have forecast flat or positive production growth
for calendar 2017.
Natural gas output climbed 14.6 percent in June from a
year earlier to 11.5 billion cubic metres (bcm), but
marked the lowest level since October.
Natural gas production increased 8 percent from a year
earlier to 74.1 bcm for the January-June period, the data
China's gas consumption growth has been quickening since
the start of this year after a nearly three-year lull,
according to analysts, thanks to stronger demand from
industrial and power sectors under a government push to
wean them off their coal addiction.