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Japan's JX cuts July crude runs by 4% from earlier plan on refinery troubles

Japan's largest refiner JX Nippon Oil & Energy said Friday it has revised lower its planned crude throughput volume for the domestic market in July by 3.8% to 4.06 million kiloliters (823,761 b/d) from its earlier plan as a result of unspecified refinery troubles.

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As a result of the refinery troubles, JX also cut its planned oil product exports in July by 20.9% from an earlier plan to 870,000 kl or 176,520 b/d, a company official said.

JX's downward revisions to its crude runs and oil product exports in July came to light after the refiner stepped up spot purchases of gasoline and gasoil in the domestic market since last week, according to traders.

Last week, JX bought at least 30,000 kl (188,694 barrels) of spot gasoline in Tokyo Bay -- a volume that is considered hefty for a company in a given week, according to traders.

Article Continues below...

While JX has continued its spot gasoline buying in the western Japan market this week, the volumes were lower compared with the previous week, traders added.

JX's spot gasoil purchases were not immediately clear.

Following its latest revisions, JX's crude throughput volume in July is now down 5% from a year ago but its oil product exports are still 67.3% higher from a year ago, the official said.

In its earlier plan released on June 30, JX had planned its crude throughput volume in July to be lower by 1% from a year ago.

At that time, JX had also planned to raise its oil product exports to an all-time high of 1.10 million kl, or 223,186 b/d, in July, mainly to the Asian and Australian markets, doubling from 520,000 kl a year ago due to supportive overseas demand.

--Takeo Kumagai, takeo.kumagai@spglobal.com
--Atsuko Kawasaki, atsuko.kawasaki@spglobal.com
--Edited by Irene Tang, irene.tang@spglobal.com