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Indian refiner October oil processing highest since March

November 30/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil processed by Indian refiners rose to its highest in seven months in October as fuel demand picked up although throughput remained lower than a year earlier, hurt by the coronavirus pandemicís impact on industrial and transport activity, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Crude oil throughput in October dropped 16.1% from a year earlier to 4.35 million bpd (18.39 million tons), but was the highest since March when the country went into a nationwide lockdown, provisional data issued by the government showed on Wednesday. Pointing to a recovery in economic activity, Indiaís fuel consumption registered its first year-on-year increase since February last month, data showed earlier.

Daily coronavirus cases in the country have declined steadily since having peaked in September, although it remains the second-highest number of cases in the world, after the United States. Crude oil throughput in October rose 0.5% from Septemberís 4.33 MMbpd (17.71 million tons). Indian refiners operated at an average rate of 86.7%, highest March, compared to 86.2% in September, data showed.

A major maintenance shutdown at Nayara Energyís 400,000 bpd Vadinar refinery pulled down the nationís average refinery run rates. Nayaraís plant operated at 33% capacity last month, the data showed. The countryís largest refiner, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) operated its directly owned plants at 95.64% capacity, the data showed. Reliance, owner of the worldís biggest refining complex, operated its plants at 94.33% capacity. Crude oil production fell by 6.2% to 2.57 million tons (608,000 bpd), the monthly report showed.

As MRC informed before, slumping fuel consumption during the pandemic is accelerating the long-term shift of refining capacity from North America and Europe to Asia, and from older, smaller refineries to modern, higher-capacity mega-refineries. The result is a wave of closures, often centering on refineries that only narrowly survived the previous closure wave in the years after the recession in 2008/09.

We remind that PetroChina has nearly doubled the amount of Russian crude being processed at its refinery in Dalian, the company's biggest, since January 2018, as a new supply agreement had come into effect. The Dalian Petrochemical Corp, located in the northeast port city of Dalian, was expected to process 13 million tonnes, or 260,000 bpd of Russian pipeline crude in 2018, up by about 85 to 90 percent from the previous year's level. Dalian has the capacity to process about 410,000 bpd of crude. The increase follows an agreement worked out between the Russian and Chinese governments under which Russia's top oil producer Rosneft was to supply 30 million tonnes of ESPO Blend crude to PetroChina in 2018, or about 600,000 bpd. That would have represented an increase of 50 percent over 2017 volumes.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing PE and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,594,510 tonnes in the first nine months of 2020, up by 1% year on year. Only high density polyethylene (HDPE) shipments increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 880,130 tonnes in the nine months of 2020 (calculated using the formula: production minus exports plus imports, exluding producers" inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply increased exclusively of PP random copolymer.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:petroleum products, crude oil, PP, PE, petrochemistry, Crude oil, India.
Category:General News
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