China's August oil imports rise 6.5 pct as teapots return to market
* Imports highest since May as small refiners reopened after
* Jan-Aug oil imports up 6.5 pct
* Gas arrivals up as SOEs stock up ahead of winter
(Updating with official August data)
BEIJING, Sept 8 (Reuters) - China's crude oil imports rose
6.5 percent in August from a month earlier to their highest
since May, boosted by a rebound in demand from smaller,
independent refiners, customs data showed on Saturday.
Arrivals last month were 38.38 million tonnes, or 9.04
million barrels per day (bpd), according to the General
Administration of Customs.
This was up from 8.0 million bpd a year ago and 8.48 million
in July and just slightly lower than the forecast of 9.12
million bpd from Thomson Reuters Oil Research.
For the first eight months of the year, crude purchases
stood at 299 million tonnes, up 6.5 percent, the data showed.
Independent refiners, known as teapots, wound back their
crude buying earlier this year, shutting or suspending
operations due to a combination of sinking diesel demand, higher
crude prices and new tax rules.
However, a recent rise in fuel prices and improved margins
have led to an in increase in crude processing, with many now
returning from summer maintenance to gear up for rising winter
Teapot buying in August rose to 6 million tonnes, or 1.4
million bpd, up 40 percent from July, and September arrivals are
expected to breach 7 million tonnes, data from Thomson Reuters
Supply Chain and Commodities Research showed.
Total gas imports in August were at 7.77 million tonnes, up
5.4 percent from 7.38 million in July, according to the data. In
the year to date, imports were 57.18 million tonnes, an
increase of 34.8 percent.
The increase comes after state-owned oil companies pledged
to take measures in advance this year to prepare for potential
shortages during the winter heating season.
Sinopec vowed to increase LNG spot cargo
purchases, while CNOOC said this week it would give
third-party users access to its major LNG import terminals.
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(Reporting by Josephine Mason and Meng Meng
Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
First Published: 2018-09-08 06:11:43
Updated 2018-09-08 06:34:30
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