China’s crude oil imports rose 11.9 percent in January from a year earlier to a record 6.63 million barrels per day (b/d), as companies restocked ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday despite lukewarm demand growth. The surprisingly high figure could also be due to data distortions ahead of the week-long break that fell across the first week of February, as companies tend to advance book cargos that are due to arrive in early February.
China, the world’s top energy consumer, took in 28.16 million tonnes, or 6.63 million bpd, of oil last month, up 5.1 percent from the previous record of 6.31 million in December of last year, according to the General Administration of Customs.
Demand for crude appeared less robust than the imports indicate as the top two state refiners Sinopec and PetroChina were due to process 1.9 percent less oil in January than in December, according to…
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