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China's teapot growth

The expansion has been boosted by bigger import quotas and a buying alliance

China's "teapot" refineries will be much busier in 2018 than was widely expected because the government has increased its oil import quota by 55% compared with 2017. This figure has important implications for the wider market. The new arrangements, announced by the commerce ministry in early November, allow non-state refineries to import 142.42m tonnes of crude this year, up from 2017's 91.73 tonnes. The independents won't get all of this, but on past performance they should pick up about two-thirds. The quota, so much higher than expected, confirms the growing power of the teapots in China's drive for higher-quality refining, especially considering that Beijing cut their import allowances

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