By JING YANG
China refined the least crude in four months as fuel demand
in the worlds second-largest oil consumer slowed amid a
Processing in the January-to-February period fell 1% from a
year earlier to 78.78 million metric tons, the National
Bureau of Statistics said in a statement on its website
Thats equivalent to an average of 9.79 million bpd, the
lowest rate since October. The bureau in Beijing combines
data for the two months, citing distortions from the
week-long Lunar New Year holiday, whose timing differs each
Refiners are cutting oil processing as the pace of
Chinas economic expansion
slows. Benchmark US
crude futures dropped the past three days, the longest losing
streak in more than two months, after data on March 8 showed
an 18.1 percent slump in exports. Industrial output rose 8.6%
in January-February from a year earlier, the weakest for that
period since 2009, the statistics bureau reported.
Both Sinopec and PetroChina had plans to cut crude runs
amid high fuel stockpiles and sluggish demand, Amy Sun,
a Guangzhou-based analyst at ICIS-C1 Energy, said of
the nations two biggest refiners. We think the
big increase in crude imports in January probably flowed to
commercial inventories in east China.
Crude production in the first two months climbed 0.3% from a
year earlier to 33.7 million tons, while natural gas output
gained 7.1% to 21.4 billion cubic meters, the data show.
Power output rose 5.5% to 816.2 billion kilowatt-hours.
China imported a record volume of crude in January, according
to customs figures last month. Overseas purchases were up 12%
from a year earlier to 28.15 million tons, or about 6.66