BEIJING, March 20 (Reuters) - China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (Sinopec Corp) has cut ethylene production in five refineries in March to boost oil products output, a report on a website run by parent China Petrochemical Corp (Sinopec Group) showed on Tuesday.
The move came as China announced on Monday night its largest fuel price increase in 33 months, in a move to compensate refiners for rising crude oil costs and encourage them to maintain fuel supplies as demand picks up in spring.
The refineries, including Maoming, Yanshan and Zhongyuan, will reduce ethylene output by 30,000 tonnes in March compared with previous plans and increase oil products output by 100,000 tonnes, the report on www.sinopecnews.com.cn said.
Sinopec made the changes ahead of a peak fuel consumption period during the spring ploughing season, refinery maintenance in March and April that will erode national fuel output and demand for some chemical products weakening recently, an unnamed production official was quoted as saying.
Sinopec, the largest refiner in Asia, will take similar measures in April if there is a need to do so, the official said. (Reporting by Jim Bai and Chen Aizhu; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)