MOSCOW (MRC) -- China's crude oil throughput in November rose 3.2% on year, setting a record high on a daily basis, as a huge private refiner started trials of a new refining unit and state-owned refineries raised processing rates to meet annual targets, reported Reuters.
The country processed 58.35 million tonnes of crude oil last month, equivalent to 14.2 MMbpd, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on 15 December, 2020.
That exceeded the October record of 14.09 MMbpd.
January-November throughput was 614.41 MMt, or 13.39 MMbpd, up 3.1% from the same period in 2019.
Zhejiang Petrochemical Corp in early November started a 200,000 bpd crude unit, in addition to its existing 400,000 bpd refining capacity in eastern China.
State-backed oil refineries also stepped up operation rates to meet solid demand for diesel and low-sulphur marine fuel.
According to data compiled by S&P Platts, the average crude throughput rate at Chinese state-controlled firms rose by 1 percentage point from October to 79.8% in November.
Meanwhile, PetroChina Co's Yunnan refinery shut a 260,000 bpd crude processing facility on Dec. 5 for a 50-day overhaul. Sinopec's Qingdao and Qilu facilities are scheduled to resume operations later this month after maintenance.
The NBS data also showed China's crude oil output in November at 15.96 million tonnes, or 3.88 MMbpd, up 1.2% from a year earlier.
Output for the first 11 months rose 1.6% to 180 million tonnes.
Natural gas output last month increased 11.8% from a year earlier to 16.9 billion cubic metres (bcm), the data showed, with January-to-November production jumping 9.3% on year to 170.2 bcm.
As MRC wrote previously, in January 2020, Zhejiang Petroleum & Chemical Co Ltd, one of two new major refineries built in China in 2019, started up the remaining units in the first phase of its refinery and petrochemical complex. The complex is situated in east China’s Zhoushan city. The company, 51% owned by private chemical group Zhejiang Rongsheng Holdings, said it ha started test production at ethylene, aromatics and other downstream facilities, without giving further details.
Zhejiang Petrochemical started a first 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) crude processing unit in late May, 2019, following on from the start of a 400,000-bpd refinery owned by another private chemical major Hengli Petrochemical. The newly started units at Zhejiang Petrochemical should include a second 200,000-bpd crude unit, a 1.2 million tonnes per year (tpy) ethylene unit and a 2 million tpy paraxylene unit, according to several industry sources with knowledge of the plant’s operations.
Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).
According to MRC's DataScope report, PE imports to Russia decreased in January-November 2020 by 17% year on year and reached 569,900 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the greatest reduction in imports. At the same time, PP imports into Russia increased by 21% year on year to about 202,000 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2020. Propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) accounted for the main increase in imports.