China's 2022 oil refinery runs fall for first year since 2001

China's oil refinery throughput in 2022 fell 3.4% from a year earlier, its first annual decline since 2001, as China's rigid COVID-19 controls took a toll on the economy and fuel consumption.

Refiners processed 675.9 million tonnes of crude oil last year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Tuesday, or about 13.5 million barrels per day (bpd). In 2001 processing slipped 0.3% from the prior year, NBS records showed.

Crude throughput in December rose 2.5% from the same month a year earlier to 59.88 million tonnes, the NBS reported, or 14.1 million bpd, the second-highest amount of 2022 on a daily basis as refiners ramped up production to use up fuel export quotas.This compared with 14.5 million bpd in November and a record of 14.8 million bpd posted in June 2021.

Following eight months of consecutive year-on-year declines between January and August, refinery processing began a rebound in September as the government shifted its fuel trade policy by issuing a large set of quotas to spur exports.

Fourth-quarter refined fuel exports, including diesel, gasoline, aviation fuel and marine fuel oil, surged 61% over a year-ago period to 18.3 million tonnes.

(tonne = 7.3 barrels for crude conversion)

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