News: China’s Jan-Feb refinery output up 15% on solid demand for fuels.
BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s daily refinery throughput rose 15% in the first two months of the year from a low a year ago as fuel demand remains solid and refineries need to accelerate production before the maintenance season.
Refinery processing reached 114.24 million tons from January to February, data from the National Bureau of Statistics on Monday showed, which is about 14.13 million barrels per day (bpd). The agency did not release the numbers for January and February separately.
The daily rate is roughly at the level of December 2020, from 12.07 million bpd in January to February 2020 and also above the 12.68 million bpd recorded in the first two months of 2019.
Chinese refineries cut production in the first quarter of last year as the rapid spread of the coronavirus decimated fuel demand.
Refined fuel consumption in China rebounded sharply from coronavirus-induced weakness as the economy recovered and government incentives kicked in.
Refinery production growth is expected to slow in the second quarter of 2021 as independent facilities go offline for regular maintenance due to weaker profit margins due to rising crude oil prices.
However, the planned commissioning of a 200,000 bpd crude oil facility at private refiner Zhejiang Petrochemical Corp in east China will offset some of the curbs with smaller independent companies.
“Runs should drop below 13.5 million bpd by May. Domestic inventory levels are likely to see some significant declines over the next two to three months (during a period of maintenance) and robust demand, ”said Mia Geng, a Singapore-based analyst at energy consultancy FGE.
The latest data also showed that China’s crude oil production increased 0.4% year over year to 32.08 million t or 3.97 million bpd in the first two months. This compared to an average of 3.89 million bpd for 2020.
Meanwhile, China’s natural gas production from January to February rose 13.5% from a year earlier to 34.8 billion cubic meters, extending a jump that saw almost 10% growth for 2020 as a whole.
(Ton = 7.3 barrels for crude oil conversion)
Reporting by Chen Aizhu and Muyu Xu; Adaptation by Kenneth Maxwell
Original Source © Reuters