March 8, 2019 / 4:30 AM / a year ago

China's crude oil, natural gas imports rise from a year earlier

FILE PHOTO: A crude oil tank is seen behind a construction site at Hengli Petrochemical's new refining, petrochemical complex at Changxing island in Dalian, Liaoning province, China July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Chen Aizhu

BEIJING/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - China’s crude oil imports rose to the third-highest volume on record on a daily basis on increasing purchases by new private refineries, while natural gas imports eased as demand dropped amid warmer temperatures, customs data showed on Friday.

China, the world’s biggest crude oil importer, took in 39.22 million tonnes of crude oil last month, the data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

That is the equivalent of 10.23 million barrels per day (bpd), up 21.6 percent from 8.41 million bpd during the same period the year before, according to calculations by Reuters.

This the fourth month in a row that China’s crude imports held above the 10 million bpd mark.

Last month’s crude arrivals also rose from January’s 10.03 million bpd.

Natural gas imports in February fell from a month ago as temperatures rose but were up from the same time in 2018.

Total natural gas imports including both liquefied natural gas (LNG) and pipeline gas were at 7.55 million tonnes last month, down from 9.81 million tonnes in January, but up 8.8 percent from a year earlier.

Imports for the first two months reached 17.36 million tonnes, the customs data showed.

Reporting by Meng Meng and Aizhu Chen; editing by Christian Schmollinger

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