China's refinery output rebounds further to plug diesel crunch

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  • Nov throughput at 14.51 mln bpd vs 13.75 mln bpd in Oct
  • State refineries ran at full rates to boost fuel supply
  • Crude oil output up 2.7% y/y, natural gas up 4.4%

Dec 15 (Reuters) - China's daily crude oil throughput rebounded again in November as state refiners ramped up output to plug a diesel shortage and independent refiners also raised production on healthy margins, data showed on Wednesday.

Processing volumes in November were at 59.64 million tonnes, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed, up 2.2% from the same period a year ago. November volumes were equivalent to 14.51 million barrels per day (bpd), up from 13.75 million bpd in October.

The year-to-date throughput rose 4.9% from a year earlier to 644.79 million tonnes, or about 14.09 million bpd.

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Top refiner Sinopec (600028.SS) has said it was processing at full rates in November and aimed to boost diesel production significantly through December to cover a diesel fuel shortfall which the refiner deemed temporary.

Independent plants in Shandong province raised plant utilisation from October levels on elevated gasoline and diesel prices, according to Chinese consultancy JLC.

Mega private refiner Zhejiang Petrochemical Corp also ramped up processing in November after Beijing's release of fresh import quotas allowed the firm to bring in more crude shipments, said a company source.

China's year-on-year refinery output fell between July and October as Beijing clamped down on independent refiners by imposing crude oil import quotas and increasing scrutiny over tax payments.

Shandong province, a hub for independent oil refiners, has ordered its plants to self-inspect and self-rectify any irregular fuel tax practices, Reuters has reported. read more

Wednesday's data also showed China's crude oil output rose 2.7% to 16.31 million tonnes in November versus a year ago, or by 3.97 million bpd. That helped boost output in the first 11 months of 2021 by 2.5% from a year earlier.

Natural gas output rose 4.4% to 17.7 billion cubic metres (bcm) in November from a year earlier, while January-November production rose 8.9% to 186 bcm.

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Reporting by Chen Aizhu and Muyu Xu; Editing by Richard Pullin, Tom Hogue and Ana Nicolaci da Costa

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