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 September 21, 2009
China's August Fuel Sales Rise to Highest This Year on Recovery

 (Bloomberg) -- China's domestic oil-product sales rose to the highest this year as the economic recovery spurred demand, the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Association said in a report.

Fuel sales in August increased 3.2 percent to 18.78 million metric tons from a year earlier and 8.1 percent from July, the association said in the monthly report sent to Bloomberg News on Sept. 19.

China's industrial production gained last month while power generation rose to a record, according to government data, indicating a strengthening recovery in the world's third-biggest economy. Crude processing in August climbed to the second- highest this year, the National Bureau of Statistics reported this month.

"Domestic demand for petroleum and chemicals rebounded noticeably last month along with the economic recovery," the association said. The pace of recovery may accelerate in September, it said.

Gasoline sales rose 7.4 percent to 5.89 million tons last month from July and diesel gained 8.6 percent to 11.94 million tons, it said.

China's apparent crude demand, which includes domestic output and net imports and excludes inventories, rose 1.8 percent in the first seven months, according to the report. Fuel demand fell 0.6 percent between January and July and declined 3.2 percent in the first six months.

Oil refineries operated at 87.8 percent of capacity last month while run-rates at ethylene units reached 88 percent, it said.

To contact the Bloomberg News staff on this story: Winnie Zhu in Shanghai at wzhu4@bloomberg.net