SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China imported 40.8m tonnes of crude in October - a historical high - which is up by 31.5% year on year and 9.6% month on month, official customs data showed on Thursday.
Total imports in January-October reached 377.16m tonnes, 8.1% more than the same period in last year, according to China Customs.
Refineries ramped up operating rates to meet rising seasonal demand of transportation fuel.
Also, they increased crude purchase in anticipation of further weakening of yuan currency, according to industry sources.
Chinese refiners also advanced intakes of Iranian oil ahead of the US sanctions against the Middle East nation that started in early November.
Under the new sanctions all countries are required to cut their purchase of oil from Iran to zero.
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