* Crude imports in August at 7,735,645 bpd, up 23.5 percent
* Crude imports for month second-highest ever after Dec 2015
* Refined fuel exports up 19.3 pct from yr ago to 3.71 mln
tonnes vs record 4.57 mln tonnes in July
BEIJING, Sept 8 China's crude imports in August
surged to 32.85 million tonnes, the second-highest amount ever,
as a drop in prices spurred buying, while fuel product exports
retreated from a record high in July, customs data showed on
On a tonnes basis, the August imports were just under the
record of 33.19 million tonnes recorded in December, the data
On a daily basis, the country took in 7.74 million barrels
per day (bpd), the most since Apirl, according to calculations
by Reuters. Imports in August jumped 23.5 percent from a year
ago, or the equivalent of almost 1.5 million bpd more.
The jump was partly driven by independent refiners as they
rushed to cash in on low oil prices before their import quotas
expire in December.
A total of 19 Chinese private refiners have received 2016
crude import quotas of 75 million tonnes, or 1.5 million barrels
per day as of Aug. 18, a Chinese refinery executive said on
Thursday. That volume contributed 20 percent of China's
incremental crude imports in the first eight months.
China took in 250.45 million tonnes (7.49 million bpd) of
crude in the January to August period, up 13.5 percent from the
year ago period.
"August import was a bit surprise for us," Li Yan, oil
analyst with Zibo Longzhong Information Technology Co said. "The
high volume suggested some of the crude is flowing into state
reserves, because demand from teapots and other refiners would
not be enough to support such a high volume."
Anticipation of pent-up gasoline demand as China heads to a
week-long national holiday in October may have also spurred
imports, according to Li.
The government data was 4 million tonnes higher than the
28.79 million tonnes in imports that Reuters Supply Chain &
Commodities Research assessed for the month based on tanker
tracking and pipeline data.
Refined products exports rose 19.3 percent from a year ago
to 3.71 million tonnes, or 837,742 bpd, though it fell sharply
from a record of 4.57 million tonnes in July.
China flipped into a net exporter of refined products in
July for the first time since at least 2013, Reuters
calculations based on customs data showed.
(Reporting by Meng Meng and Aizhu Chen; Editing by Christian