* Nov implied oil demand up 1.7 pct y/y, up 4.2 pct m/m
* Nov demand at about 9.5 mln bpd, 2nd highest ever
* Record refinery runs, 2nd highest imports boost demand
BEIJING, Dec 12 China's implied oil demand
in November increased to the second highest in history, as
refineries in the world's second-largest oil consuming country
ramped up production to record high levels to ease domestic
Implied oil demand, a combination of crude runs and net oil
product imports, rose 1.7 percent from a year earlier to about
9.5 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, according to
Reuters calculations based on preliminary government data.
The calculation does not include changes in inventories that
China rarely publishes.
The daily volume was also 4.2 percent higher than in
October, Reuters figures showed.
China's top two refiners, Sinopec
and PetroChina , said in late
October they would raise crude runs and increase imports as
diesel shortages spread in parts of the country.
The country's crude oil imports rose 8.5 percent over a year
earlier to 5.52 million bpd in November, the second highest on
record on a daily basis. The daily rate was also nearly 13
percent more than in October.
The latest data from the customs department showed oil
product imports in November rose to 3.35 million tonnes from
2.91 million tonnes in October, but exports also increased to
2.14 million tonnes from 1.59 million tonnes, resulting in a
moderate reduction in net imports.
Supplies of diesel, the main transportation fuel in China,
have been tight in some regions for several months as refiners
throttled back due to refining losses or maintenance. Sporadic
diesel shortages spread after the government lowered gasoline
and diesel prices on Oct 9.
Mounting refining losses at state oil firms have drawn
skepticism from Chinese media about their efficiency and the
merits of the country's fuel pricing system.
Refiners kept on drawing fuel stocks for the fifth month in
a row in October, according to a report by the official Xinhua
Even as China's refinery throughput jumped to a record last
month, diesel tightness has occurred intermittently along with
price changes of a basket of crude oils that China uses as a
guide for setting fuel prices.
Analysts said fuel dealers tend to hold back sales when they
expect the government is about to raise fuel prices soon.
On two occasions since November, a 22-day moving average
price of the three crude oils -- Brent, Dubai and Cinta -- had
crawled up to near 4 percent -- the change that could trigger a
fuel price hike -- but it retreated to 3.07 percent as of
Monday, according to consultancy C1 Energy.
(Reporting by Jim Bai and Chen Aizhu; Editing by Ken Wills)