May 23, 2019 / 7:51 AM / 4 months ago

Asia oil refiners mull run cuts after margins hit lowest for season since 2003

SINGAPORE, May 23 (Reuters) - Asia’s oil refiners are considering reducing output after margins slumped to their lowest for the season since 2003, according to industry sources and Refinitiv data.

Companies that planned to trim output include SK Energy, a unit of SK Innovation, the Singapore Refinery Company (SRC), owned by PetroChina and Chevron Corp , four people familiar with the matter said.

In China, independent refiners known as ‘teapots’, which account for about a fifth of the country’s crude imports, operated at below 50% of capacity on average in April through May, versus 64% in the first quarter, said Zang Wengang, an analyst with Sublime Information Co.

A spokeswoman for SK Innovation spokeswoman declined to comment, while SRC did not respond to a request for comment.

The people familiar with the matter declined to be identified because they are not authorised to speak to media.

Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick in TOKYO, Jane Chung in SEOUL, Nidhi Verma in NEW DELHI and Chen Aizhu, Seng Li Peng, Jessica Jaganathan and Florence Tan in SINGAPORE Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

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