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Typhoon Lekima to impact port operations in east China

Singapore — Tropical typhoon Lekima has gradually begun impacting port operations in eastern China and is expected to last for at least two days, sources at Zhoushan, Shanghai, Qingdao, Rizhao and Yantai said on Friday.

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The No. 9 typhoon Lekima was moving across the East China Sea and edging toward the coast of Zhejiang Friday and Saturday, and further to eastern Jiangsu and Shandong provinces along the coast, according to China's National Meteorological Center, NMC.

The affected area comprises the country's major ports, several refineries of Sinopec as well as independent refineries.

"We have suspended operation for bunkering, loading or discharge, at least until August 11," a bunkering source based in Zhoushan city, Zhejiang province, said.

"All port operations have been closed now, but we have enough stock to keep our throughput as planned," a source with Sinopec's Shanghai Petrochemical said.

"Port operations will be affected during August 11-13," a source with the Yantai port said.

But Rizhao port sources said ships have already started to leave the port Friday afternoon.

Related story: Japan's JXTG suspends part of Negishi waterborne shipments on Typhoon Krosa

The ports along the coast, including Rizhao, Qingdao and Yantai with VLCC berths, will be cleared late Saturday, with ships staying outside the port limits, port sources from Rizhao and Qingdao said.

The NMC said Lekima is the strongest typhoon since 2014, even as authorities batten down hatches with travel restrictions and preparations for heavy rain.

Shandong is home to 20% to 25% of the country's refining capacity, and most importantly, about 60% of China's independent refining capacity.

On a monthly basis, an average of 8.9 million mt of crudes have been imported for those independent refineries over January-July this year.

-- Staff,

-- Oceana Zhou,

-- Edited by Manish Parashar,