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Sinopec to lift Nov gasoil supply by 19% on month to meet domestic demand

China's state-owned Sinopec will increase its gasoil supply by 19% in November from October to meet domestic demand, according to a press release Oct. 28.

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Sinopec will run its refineries at full capacity while adjusting yield to lift gasoil supply in November by 29%, it said without giving the actual number.

In October, the company has already raised its gasoil supply by about 20% from the monthly average level in the first three quarters of the year, Sinopec added.

The supply increase in October was more likely from gasoil yield adjustment and sourcing the barrels externally, as the refiner actually led the utilization cuts among state-run refiners in the month.

Its run rate was down two percentage points from September at 82%, processing 4.3 million b/d in October. This was mainly due to scheduled maintenance works at several refineries while the operating ones maintained throughputs with limited feedstocks, S&P Global Platts has reported.

In November, three of its refineries are due for scheduled maintenance. They are the 260,000 b/d Gaoqiao Petrochemical, the 264,000 b/d Guangzhou Petrochemical and the 280,000 b/d Fujian Refining & Chemical refineries. But its flagship 540,000 b/d Zhenhai refinery, which just started up a new 80,000 b/d crude distillation unit in late September, and some of its Sinopec peers are set to further lift throughput to ensure domestic gasoil supply, a company source said.

Sinopec is the world's biggest refiner by capacity. Its gasoil production averaged 4.76 million mt in the first half of 2021, accounting for about 37.4% of China's gasoil output, Platts reported. The company is going to release its operation results later Oct. 28.

China's gasoil price has peaked and started to fall as state-run companies have increased gasoil supplies by boosting production and imports.

PetroChina lifted throughput by one percentage point to 76% month on month in October, while CNOOC fixed to import 50,000 mt of gasoil in early November, Platts reported.

The wholesale price of zero-vapor 10 ppm gasoil in eastern China Shandong province has fallen to Yuan 7,828/mt ($164.28/b) on Oct. 28 from the peak of Yuan 8,893/mt on Oct. 21. The price started to rally in late September from around Yuan 6,650/mt amid tight supply, market sources said.