China imported 19.34 million metric tons of crude oil in October, up 19.7% from a year ago and slightly down from the record of 19.63 million tons seen in July, China Customs figures show. It was the eighth straight month the nation's crude imports stood above 16 million tons despite the international crude price cracking the $80 a barrel mark over the past month.
In October, domestic crude oil output fell 1.8% year-on-year to 16.25 million tons, pushing the amount for the first 10 months to 158 million tons, down 0.5% from the same period last year.
Separately, China's first joint venture project combining refining, petrochemical and marketing became operational in Quanzhou, Fujian province Wednesday. The ¥38.4 billion ($1 = ¥6.83) costs were shared equally by the provincial government, Sinopec (NYSE: SNP, SHA: 600028, HKG: 0386), Exxon Mobil and Saudi Aramco. It is capable of 7.46 million tons of Euro III oil and 1.28 million tons of polyolefins annually valued at ¥60 billion altogether.