Chinese oil refiners increased crude processing to a daily record last month after the country raised fuel prices to encourage companies to maximize production and ease a shortage of diesel.
Oil-processing volume rose 10 percent to 36.65 million metric tons last month, or 8.96 million barrels a day, according to China Mainland Marketing Research Co., which compiles data for the National Bureau of Statistics. That exceeded the record 8.76 million barrels a day reached the previous month.
The nation’s largest refiners, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. and PetroChina Co., said last month that they are raising crude processing to an all-time high and resumed diesel imports after shortages that depleted at least 2,000 gas stations in the country, the world’s biggest energy user.
“Oil processing might rise even higher in December as the country may boost fuel stockpiles before the Lunar New Year,” Yin Xiaodong, an oil analyst with Citic Securities Co., said by telephone from Beijing today. “The diesel supply shortage in the nation’s east and south has eased because of imports and diversion of supplies from the west.”
China increased gasoline and diesel prices by 3 percent on Oct. 26 after refiners’ crude costs rose. Diesel output climbed 13.7 percent to a record 14.18 million tons, according to today’s data.
Gasoline production gained 2.1 percent to 6.6 million tons and kerosene increased 2.3 percent to 1.35 million tons. Natural gas output rose 5.8 percent to 8.42 billion cubic meters last month.
The country increased net crude oil imports by 26 percent to 20.3 million tons in November from a month earlier, the highest since September’s record of 22.9 million tons, the customs bureau said last week.
China Petrochemical Corp., parent of Sinopec, may reduce daily oil processing to 564,000 tons in December, down 3.3 percent from November, Oilchem said today, citing a survey of the company’s major refineries.
China National Petroleum Corp.’s refineries will process 404,000 tons of crude on a daily basis this month, up 1 percent from last month, it said. The company is the parent of PetroChina.