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China Oil Stockpiles Climb to Three-Month High as Refining Slows

China’s commercial crude stockpiles rose in April to the highest level in three months and diesel supplies dropped after the nation curbed refining.

Crude inventories, excluding emergency reserves, climbed 0.14 percent from a month earlier, China Oil, Gas & Petrochemicals, a newsletter published by the official Xinhua News agency, reported today. Stockpiles increased to 28.68 million metric tons, or about 210.2 million barrels, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Diesel inventories fell 7.7 percent to 9.82 million tons, the lowest since January.

Refining in China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, dropped to 9.36 million barrels a day last month, according to data released by the Beijing-based National Bureau of Statistics May 13. That’s the lowest since August and 8 percent below a record in December as plants shut for maintenance and industrial production expanded at a slower pace than forecast.

Gasoline stockpiles rose 2 percent to 7.05 million tons, the highest in three months, and kerosene supplies climbed 0.9 percent to 1.59 million tons, according to today’s data. The country’s net gasoline exports remained near the highest level in a year last month, customs data yesterday showed.

OGP stopped publishing outright stockpile levels in July 2010. Inventory figures calculated by Bloomberg News are based on percentage changes that the newsletter reports every month.

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