China Boosts Refinery Runs to Record Ahead of Peak Demand Season

China boosted refinery processing rates to a record level ahead of peak demand season spurred by the need for winter heating fuels.

Refiners processed 43.51 million metric tons of crude, or about 10.3 million barrels a day, data from the National Bureau of Statistics in Beijing show today. That’s the highest monthly level on record, excluding January’s figures that the agency doesn’t publish.

“A rise in refining is mainly due to higher run rates by the top two refiners and October has one more day than September when we already saw a significant boost of throughput,” Amy Sun, an analyst at ICIS-C1 Energy, a Shanghai-based consultant, said by phone from Guangzhou.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. and PetroChina Co. together were processing up to 32.8 million metric tons crude in October. The daily run rates were 1.25 percent higher than that of September, according to ICIS-C1.

China trails only the U.S. in oil demand globally, according to the International Energy Agency in Paris. It processed 9.1 percent more crude in September compared to same period from a year earlier, the largest increase since June 2013 crude in September, according to customs data tracked by Bloomberg.

Domestic oil output in China in October was unchanged at 17.94 million tons and natural gas output increased 8.3 percent to 10.3 billion cubic meters, today’s data showed.

— With assistance by Sarah Chen

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