Chinese crude oil imports added 14 percent in July as refineries started ramping up processing rates after profit margins began improving thanks to stronger fuel demand.
The average daily intake was 9.66 million barrels, Reuters reports, with fuel exports rebounding as well last month, up by as much as 20 percent despite excess supply.
Over the first seven months of the year, China imported an average 9.84 million barrels of oil daily, a 9.5-percent increase on the year. Refinery processing rates were also running high for most of the year, hitting a record of 12.68 million bpd in April.
The July uptick in imports, however, may soon reverse: refineries will reduce their throughput during the current quarter ahead of the country’s National Day holiday that begins in October, S&P Global Platts reported last month, citing a general state-imposed curb on industrial activity aimed at keeping pollution in check and reducing the risk of accidents ahead of the holiday.