March 23, 2020 / 2:08 AM / 12 days ago

Taiwan's CPC to cut April refining runs on lower fuel demand - sources

SINGAPORE, March 23 (Reuters) - Taiwan’s state-owned oil refiner CPC Corp will cut crude throughput rates in April by less than 10%, from around 70%-80% currently, as the coronavirus pandemic has lowered fuel demand, two sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.

CPC, which primarily supplies fuel to the Taiwan market, operates two refineries in Talin and Taoyuan which have a combined capacity of 650,000 barrels per day (bpd).

CPC typically issues monthly tenders to buy Middle East sour crude and sweet crude from West Africa and the United States by the third week of each month.

However, the company has decided not to issue crude tenders in March to seek cargoes for June arrival due to the output reduction, sluggish demand and a sufficient amount of crude in storage, according to the sources.

“Facing the situation of the COVID-19, we are trying to minimize the impact, therefore we decided not issue our crude purchase tender temporarily,” CPC spokesman J. Z. Fang said in an emailed response.

“We are still checking how serious the impact is and might reduce our run rate as result,” he added.

In February, CPC bought 500,000 barrels of April-loading Upper Zakum crude, 3 million barrels of U.S. West Texas Intermediate Midland crude and 3 million barrels of Angola crude via spot tenders, trade sources said.

Reporting by Shu Zhang; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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