Two months ago, 16 so-called teapot refineries formed the China Petroleum Purchase Federation of Independent Refineries – they are now making a splash on the international oil market by buying crude at a startling rate. Oil imports by Shandong province, where most of China’s private refineries are based, surged 303.1% in the first quarter from a year earlier by value, The South China Morning Post reports. That’s despite a 37% drop in the price of imported crude. The refineries drove up the country’s overall crude imports by 13.4% by volume in the first quarter to 91.1 million tonnes, making the March figures the second-highest on record.
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