July 16, 2018 / 2:42 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 2-China June refinery runs up even as high oil prices hurt teapots

* State oil majors led refinery run increase

* Teapots struggle with higher prices, taxes

* June gas output lowest in nine months (Adds comment in fourth paragraph)

BEIJING, July 16 (Reuters) - China’s refinery runs rose in June as state-controlled oil majors boosted output of fuel products, offsetting cuts by teapots which carried out annual repairs and curbed operations due to high crude prices, data showed on Monday.

Refinery throughput in June rose 8 percent from a year ago to 49.78 million tonnes, or 12.11 million barrels per day, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Runs rose 1.5 percent from May on a daily basis.

The higher refinery run rate was led by state-owned oil refiners while private refiners reduced their processing as higher oil prices, and the more stringent enforcement of consumption taxes, cut their margins, analysts said.

“Teapots cut runs in June due to the less favourable market conditions,” said Zhou Guoxia, crude analyst with JLC.

China’s independent refiners, also known as teapots, last month were losing an average of 300 yuan ($44.89) for each tonne of crude oil processed, data provided Zibo Longzong Information Group showed.

For the first half of the year, refinery runs were 299.6 million tonnes, up 8.9 percent from a year ago.

Natural gas production in June rose 5.6 percent from a year ago to 12.2 billion cubic meters (bcm). That was down 3.3 percent from May and the lowest since September.

Output for the first half of the year was 77.5 bcm, up 4.6 percent.

June crude oil production fell 2.3 percent from a year ago to 15.85 million tonnes. That was down from 15.97 million tonnes in May. Year-to-date output was 94.09 million tonnes, down 2 percent from a year earlier. (Reporting by Josephine Mason and Meng Meng; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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