China’s crude oil imports hit a record high on a daily basis in November, as refiners operated at high run rates to use up annual import quotas.
The world’s top oil buyer imported 45.74 million tons of crude, equivalent to 11.13 million barrels per day, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs on Sunday, Reuters reported.
That compared with 10.72 million bpd in October and 9.61 million bpd in November last year.
For the first 11 months of 2019, China brought in a total of 461.88 million tons, or 10.09 million bpd, up 10.4% from the same period last year, the data showed.
As the year draws to a close, private refineries, known as teapot refiners, are ramping up output to use up their crude import quotas for the year in order to be able to apply for more quotas next year.
State-backed oil refiners, meanwhile, have maintained stable throughput levels.
Looking ahead, Sinopec’s Maoming refining plant has scheduled an overhaul in December, but two mega-refineries - Zhejiang Petrochemicals and Sinopec’s Zhanjiang refinery - are expected to start purchasing more crude in December to prepare for a ramp-up in their operations.
Customs data showed that China sold 7.31 million tons of refined oil products overseas in November, up 63.5% from a year earlier. Exports for the first 11 months were 60.22 million tons, up 14.2% from the same period last year.