China's September crude oil throughput extended its downtrend to dip 0.7% from August to a 17-month low of 13.7 million b/d amid a slow down in the economy and product destocking activity, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Oct. 18.
Receive daily email alerts, subscriber notes & personalize your experience.Register Now
The country's crude throughput was last lower at 13.16 million b/d in April 2020.
This led China's third-quarter 2021 throughput to average 13.83 million b/d, which was the lowest quarterly volume since Q2 2020 when it stood at 13.68 million b/d.
The weakness was more or less in line with the country's economic growth, with GDP expanding at a slower rate of 4.9% year on year in the quarter, from 7.9% in Q2. China's GDP growth in Q3 was also its weakest pace since its economy grew 4.9% in Q3 2020.
But the reduction in throughput looked to have outpaced the decline in demand, causing supply to tighten and push domestic oil product prices higher in September amid destocking activity.
NBS releases data in metric tons, which S&P Global Platts converts to barrels using a 7.33 conversion factor.
On metric tons basis, the volume in September dropped 3.9% to 56.07 million mt from August and declined 2.6% from a year ago.
In the first nine months, China processed 14.15 million b/d, or 526.87 million mt, of crude oil, rising 6.6% year on year.
In the upstream sector, the country produced 4.06 million b/d of crude, the highest level since June 2016 when it stood at 4.08 million b/d.
China's crude production is expected to remain on the recovery path at a steady pace as the country ensures stable domestic energy supply.
During January-September, China's crude output was at 4.02 million b/d, or 149.84 million mt, growing 2.9% on a barrels per day basis.
China's crude output, throughput (million mt)
Source: National Bureau of Statistics