* Jan-Feb refinery run +4.3 pct yr/yr; 11.23 mln bpd
* Jan-Feb crude output -8 pct yr/yr at 3.89 mln bpd
* Jan-Feb natgas output unchanged yr/yr
(Adds analyst comment on flat natgas output)
By Chen Aizhu
BEIJING, March 14 China's refinery throughput
during the first two months of 2017 rose 4.3 percent from same
time a year ago to the second-highest level on record on a daily
basis, while crude output fell 8 percent from a year earlier,
official data showed on Tuesday.
Chinese refineries processed 90.76 million tonnes of crude
oil during January and February, the National Bureau of
Statisics (NBS) reported. That is equivalent to about 11.23
million barrels per day (bpd), second only to December's
all-time high of 11.26 million bpd.
The NBS provided information for the two months together to
smooth the impact of the Lunar New Year holiday, and did not
give a separate monthly breakdown.
The increase followed a rise in the number of independent
oil plants winning quotas to import crude oil, while state
refiners stepped up processing to build stocks ahead of the
holiday that started in late January, contributing to a strong
increase in total throughput.
Crude output in the same period fell 8 percent over the same
period a year earlier to 31.44 million tonnes, or about 3.89
million bpd, the data showed.
Combined inventories of diesel, gasoline and kerosene rose
more than 10 percent to a six-month high by the end of January
over the previous month, according to data from the official
Xinhua News Agency.
The swelling stocks reflected weakening demand, especially
for diesel as mining activities waned ahead of the holiday
A recent draft government plan to start banning trucks
moving coal in northern China in favour of railway transport is
also poised to deal a blow to diesel demand in the coming
The fall in oil output comes amid near decade-low prices.
Sinopec Corp, the country's second-largest oil
producer, posted about a 15 percent fall in domestic crude oil
production last year at 253 million barrels, the company said in
China's top oilfield Daqing recorded a 4.8 percent drop in
crude oil output in 2016 versus a year ago.
The NBS data on Tuesday also showed China's natural gas
production was unchanged from a year ago at 25.1 billion cubic
Jenny Yang, a Beijing-based analyst at IHS Markit, said the
flat production might have been an effort by the national oil
companies to adjust available supplies from multiple sources
including imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
"China's LNG imports surged over 50 percent year-on-year
during November 2016 to January 2017 owing to the concern of a
potentially cold winter. However, the winter has turned out to
be a mild one, and much of the imported fuel still remains in
storage," said Yang.
(Tonne=7.3 barrels for crude conversion)
(Reporting by Cheng Fang, Meng Meng and Chen Aizhu; Editing by