MOSCOW (MRC) -- China's crude throughput rose 0.8% to 13.81 million b/d in October from a 17-month low in September, reported S&P Global with reference to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics Nov. 15.
In Shandong province, refining margins for cracking imported crudes more than doubled to a record Yuan 1,185 (USD182)/mt in October, rising 123.6% on the month, local information provider JLC's data showed.
A feedstock supply shortage for private refiners eased after the release of the final round of 2021 crude import quota allocations, enabling them to boost throughput.
On Oct. 15, Beijing allocated the last batch of crude quotas to 16 qualified refineries at 14.89 million mt. An additional quota of 12 million mt for Zhejiang Petroleum & Chemical's 20 million mt/year phase 2 project was allocated Oct. 25.
As a result, throughput of the private integrated Hengli Petrochemical (Dalian), ZPC and the small-sized independent refineries in Shandong rose 2.2% month on month to 3.19 million b/d.
Sinopec and PetroChina led the state-owned oil sector in raising throughput in end October as a response to Beijing's call to ensure gasoil supply. The state-run refiners had previously planned to their drop average utilization rate to 80.5% from 81.5% in September.
Crude throughput remained 3% below the 14.24 million b/d recorded in October 2020, slowing the year-to-date growth rate over January-October to 5.5% from 6.6% over January-September. China processed 585.15 million mt, or 14.11 million b/d, of crude over January-October, the data showed.
In November, China's crude throughput would be supported by the state-owned refineries' commitment to increase gasoil supply. In late October, Sinopec had announced that it would run its refineries at full capacity while adjusting yield to raise gasoil supply 18% on the month in November.
PetroChina followed by increasing gasoil supply in November and December by 50% from the average level over January-August. ZPC will also raise its utilization rate for the rest of the year from 70% in October to maximize usage of its new crude import quota.
Shenghong Petrochemical's 16 mil mt/year greenfield refinery is expected to start its trial run by the year end, which would contribute some throughput. China's crude throughput for 2021 is estimated to rise 3.7% to 14.2 million b/d.
As MRC informed previously, PetroChina, Asia's largest oil and gas producer,aims to have oil, gas and green energies to each account for a third of its portfolio by 2035, as the Chinese oil major shifts toward a lower-carbon future.
We remind that in August, 2021, PetroChina Liaoyang Petrochemical Co Ltd , part of the Chinese petrochemical major - PetroChina,successfully started up its new polypropylene (PP) plant last week. Based in Liaoning City, Liaoyang Province, China, the new PP plant has a production capacity of 300,000 tons/year.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,138,510 tonnes in the first nine months of 2021, up by 30% year on year. Supply of propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding PP random copolymers decreased significantly.