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China sets 2018 non-state crude oil import quota 55% higher than 2017

November 13/2017

MOSCOW (MRC) Ч China has raised its 2018 crude oil import quota for "non-state trade," generally meaning independent refiners, by 55% over 2017, raising the clout of the independents in the global market after a setback this year, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The move took market participants by surprise after Beijing cut the quotas to independents for 2017. The annual quota setting, announced earlier than usual, is a sign the government is relaxing its policies towards the independent refiners after the cuts and after banning them from exporting fuel this year.

The Ministry of Commerce said on Wednesday companies can start applying for quotas for 2018 totaling 142.42 MMt, or about 2.85 MMbpd, up from 91.73 MMt for 2017. The ministry did not provide a detailed breakdown of quota recipients, but they should include mostly independent refiners, which in 2017 made up around two-thirds of the total.

The announcement follows a recent state media report that China's increasingly influential independent refineries have sought changes to oil quota polices to help them plan procurement and production in advance. Quotas for some of these independents, also known as "teapots," were cut by nearly 17% in 2017 versus 2016 because they under-used the earlier permits.

"Teapots like us may get a bit more quota next year after Commerce Ministry cut back our volumes in 2017," said a procurement manager with Shouguang Luqing Petrochemical Co, a teapot based in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong, home to a number of the independent plants.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:petroleum products, petrochemistry, Crude oil, China.
Category:General News
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