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Chinese Refineries Hit Record Pace

Oil

Chinese oil refineries processed 49.34M metric tonnes or 12.055M b/d of crude in September, the highest ever recorded, up 4.7% m-o-m and 12.7% y-o-y, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics. This was facilitated by the state-run 200,000 b/d Huizhou refinery launching operations in September and PetroChina’s 260,000 b/d Yunnan plant starting trial production, as well as significant net crude imports at 36.56M metric tonnes or 8.93M b/d, a four-month high, up 8.4% m-o-m and 12% y-o-y. Furthermore, the unexpected surge was likely driven by solid refining margins after Hurricane Harvey which raised refiners’ expectations of increased export quotas, as well as an anticipated increase in demand during the national holiday in early October. For the first three quarters of the year, refinery output rose 4.7% from the same period last year at 418.4M tonnes.