BEIJING, Dec 16 (Reuters) - PetroChina Co Ltd , China’s second-largest refiner, was running its refineries at full capacity and will buy more fuel from external sources to cover ongoing domestic shortages, China Petroleum Daily reported on Friday.
Current output of refined oil products was 268,000 tonnes per day, up 2 percent from a year earlier, the newspaper said. The newspaper is run by parent China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC).
In late October, PetroChina’s daily oil products output was 265,000 tonnes, 9 percent higher than a year ago level.
The company will step up fuel purchases from external sources after such purchases in November increased 63.2 percent from a year earlier, the newspaper report said.
External sources mainly include private teapot refineries as well as rival top Asian refiner Sinopec , according to industry officials.
PetroChina bought 5.6 million tonnes of diesel from external sources in the third quarter of this year, up 51 percent from a year earlier.
PetroChina has also imported 330,000 tonnes of diesel so far this year, the newspaper report said.
Fuel supplies to domestic market from December 1 to 12 by PetroChina grew 11.8 percent from a month earlier to 3.33 million tonnes and diesel supplies gained 7.6 percent to 2.19 million tonnes, the report said.
Although Chinese refineries are running at full rates and state oil companies raised diesel imports, there are still diesel shortages in some regions partly because refiners and dealers held back sales anticipating the government would raise retail fuel prices.
A 22-day moving average price of a basket of three crude oils -- Brent, Dubai and Cinta -- which China uses as a guide for setting fuel prices, rose 2.13 percent as of Friday, according to consultancy C1 Energy, after almost hitting the trigger point of 4 percent for a fuel price hike in late November and early December.
China’s apparent demand for diesel were expected to increase 2.6 percent on year to 12.9 million tonnes in December and overall oil products demand to rise 3.2 percent to 20.8 million tonnes, the newspaper report said. (Reporting by Jim Bai and Chen Aizhu; Editing by Ken Wills)