SHANGHAI: China’s crude oil imports grew 7.8 percent in October from a year earlier to 31.03 million tons, or 7.56 million barrels a day (bpd), but hit a one-year low, China government data showed on Tuesday.
It was the lowest level since October 2016, when the world’s largest energy consumer imported 6.81 million bpd, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs. Inbound crude shipments last month plunged 16.1 percent from 9.05 million bpd posted in September.
In 2015, China began to allow local independent refineries, known as “teapot” refiners, to import crude oil as part of its energy reforms. Qualified local refineries are allowed to import crude oil if they cut backward capacity or install natural gas storage facilities. These private refiners are with relatively small capacities, ranging from 20,000 bpd to 100,000 bpd.