China's crude oil throughput hit a record high in June, rising 3.9% on a daily basis from the previous record set in May as more refineries resumed operations after maintenance.
The country processed 60.82 million tonnes of crude oil last month, or 14.8 million barrels per day (bpd), data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Thursday.
That was up from 14.25 mln bpd in May, and was also higher than 14.08 mln bpd in June last year.
Total throughput during the first half of 2021 reached 353.35 million tonnes, or 15.13 million bpd, up 10.7% from the same period in 2020.
Chinese refineries slowed oil processing in the second quarter for planned maintenance. Around 38 million tonnes per annum of refining capacity had been expected to return online at state oil giants Sinopec and PetroChina from late May to early June, according to data from S&P Platts.
Average utilisation rates at independent refining plants in Shandong province were 73.81% as of June 30, up from 66.7% in late May, data tracked by China-based Sublime consultancy showed.
However, analysts from FGE expect run rates at Shandong independent refineries to fall by around 490,000 bpd to an average of 1.75 million bpd in the third quarter due to reduced crude oil imports quotas and a clampdown on illicit quotas trading.
China cut crude oil import quotas to non-state refiners by 35% in a second batch of allowances for 2021.
The NBS data also showed China's oil output in June at 16.67 million tonnes, up 2.8% from the same month a year earlier. Over the first six months this year, China produced 99.32 million tonnes of crude, up 2.4% on the year.
Natural gas output last month increased 13.1% from a year earlier to 17.2 billion cubic metres (bcm), the NBS reported, while January to June production grew 10.9% from a year earlier to 104.5 bcm.