PetroChina sees growth in China’s fuel demand in 2022 despite COVID woes


A PetroChina gas station is pictured in Beijing, China, March 21, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung Hoon

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SINGAPORE, May 6 (Reuters) – China’s fuel demand is expected to rise in 2022 despite a recent COVID-19 surge, with the economy expected to expand at a reasonable rate, a senior PetroChina (601857.SS) official said on Friday.

The comment came amid severe movement restrictions from early March in Chinese regions such as financial hub Shanghai, which shut industrial plants and hit demand for refined oil products. Continue reading

“For all of 2022, China’s economic growth will remain within a reasonable range, so we expect demand for refined oil products to remain higher than last year,” Wang Hua, PetroChina’s finance director, said at a briefing.

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This is followed by a similar forecast from Sinopec, Asia’s top refiner, last month. Continue reading

Officials at PetroChina, the publicly traded arm of the country’s largest oil and gas refiner, said the COVID measures resulted in higher product inventories compared to the start of the year.

The company has tried to expand marketing, adjust refining capacity and utilization, and arrange exports to reduce inventories, they added.

“With the improvement of the COVID situation, the inventory of refined products is now showing a decline,” said Ren Lixin, vice president of PetroChina.

Following first-quarter results last week, Chai Shouping, the company’s secretary of the board, told analysts and media the group has no plans to buy discounted oil and gas from Russia as the trade is based on previous contracts.

Reuters reported that traders are using smaller, more expensive ships to transport displaced Russian oil from European ports to China after Russia’s Urals depreciated sharply against benchmark Brent. Continue reading

Chai also expected PetroChina’s prices for domestic natural gas sales in 2022 to exceed 2021 to offset expected losses in the import business as global gas prices rise.

PetroChina’s first-quarter gas import profit was 3.47 billion yuan ($519.44 million) as the company imported 21.2 billion cubic meters of natural gas, but it expects import costs to rise significantly in the coming quarters.

($1=6.6803 Chinese Renminbi Yuan)

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Reporting by Chen Aizhu in Singapore and Muyu Xu in Beijing; Editing by Jane Merriman and Clarence Fernandez

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Policy.


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