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UPDATE 1 -China July crude throughput up 4% on-yr, but off record

* July crude runs +4% on-yr, around 12.39 mln bpd

* Off record in June at 13.07 mln bpd

* July crude output +2.5% on yr

BEIJING/SINGAPORE, Aug 14 (Reuters) - China's July crude oil throughput rose 4% from a year earlier, official data showed on Wednesday, buoyed by improved refinery profit-margins and as new plants started production.

Refinery runs reached 52.6 million tonnes last month, or about 12.39 million barrels per day (bpd), according to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The runs eased from June's record of 13.07 million bpd.

"Profit margins at refineries are following an upbeat trend, largely supported by strong demand for diesel amid robust industrial operations," Jin Xiao, senior analyst at Orient Futures, said ahead of the data release.

Average refining losses on processing crude oil have largely narrowed to a break-even level, with some plants with production lines more geared towards chemicals turning a profit.

For the first seven months of 2019, Chinese crude throughput rose 5.6% from a year earlier to 369.73 million tonnes, or 12.73 million bpd, the NBS reported.

The NBS data also showed China's crude oil production in July rose 2.5% on-year to 16.29 million tonnes, or about 3.84 bpd. That compares to 3.92 million bpd in June.

Output in the January to July period increased 1% from a year earlier to 111.31 million tonnes, or about 3.83 million bpd.

Natural gas output reached 13.9 billion cubic meters (bcm) in July, 6.1% higher than a year earlier, according to the data.

(tonne=7.3 barrels for crude conversion) (Reporting by Muyu Xu in BEIJING and Chen Aizhu in SINGAPORE; Editing by Tom Hogue and Joseph Radford)