* Crude stocks drop on lower imports
* Refined fuel stocks down after 3-mth buildup
BEIJING, April 23 China's commercial crude oil
inventories at the end of March fell 2.89 percent from a month
earlier on lower crude imports, the official Xinhua news agency
said on Wednesday.
Commercial refined fuel stocks dropped 2.05 percent from
end-February after climbing for three months, Xinhua reported in
its oil and gas newsletter China OGP.
Of the total, diesel stocks fell 5.66 percent as demand
rebounded on the start of spring ploughing and infrastructure
construction, while gasoline stocks gained 1.83 percent and
kerosene stocks increased 4.53 percent, it said.
The OGP newsletter does not provide outright inventory
volumes, and the government rarely discloses levels of either
commercial or strategic oil stocks, making it difficult to gauge
real demand in the world's second-largest oil consumer.
China's crude oil imports in March fell to a five-month low
of 5.54 million barrels per day (bpd), official data has shown,
after three months of high inbound shipments and gains in fuel
On a daily basis, refinery crude throughput in March fell
5.7 percent from February as refineries scaled back production
amid high product stocks.
(Reporting by Judy Hua and Chen Aizhu; Editing by Richard
Pullin and Joseph Radford)