China’s November crude-processing rate fell from a nine-month high as the country’s largest refining company shut 11 percent its capacity for maintenance.
Refiners in the world’s second-largest oil consumer processed 40.17 million metric tons of crude last month, according to data released today by the Beijing-based National Bureau of Statistics. That’s 2.2 percent lower than October, when runs rose to the highest level since January, and 0.6 percent less than the same period last year.
China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., known as Sinopec, shut its Maoming and Fujian refineries for maintenance in November, reducing crude runs in first week of the month by as much as 30 percent in southern China, according to the Shandong-based industry website Oilchem.net. The two facilities can process a combined 30 million tons a year of crude, or more than 11 percent of the total capacity of Sinopec’s 35 plants, according to a research report on China’s oil and gas market published by China National Petroleum Corp. in January.
“A year-on-year reduction in processing is mainly due to whole-factory maintenance at Sinopec’s two plants,” Jean Zou, an oil analyst with energy consultant ICIS-C1, said by phone from Guangzhou today.
China’s 83 biggest refineries shut a combined 2.2 million tons of processing capacity in November, compared with 200,000 tons last November, according to ICIS-C1. Run rates at China’s major refineries may exceed 87 percent after Sinopec completes maintenance at the Fujian plant on Dec. 6, according to Oilchem.net.