Wires

China oil imports in Oct rise to record; gas imports drop

SINGAPORE/BEIJING, Nov 8 (Reuters) - China's crude oil imports in October rose 11.5% from a year earlier to a record high, as new refineries bolstered demand and small independent plants maintained throughput amid steady refining margins.

Natural gas imports, however, recorded a 10.6% year-on-year drop last month, in its first decline since November 2016, according to Reuters' records of customs data.

China, the world's top oil importer, brought in 45.51 million tonnes of crude last month, equivalent to 10.72 million barrels per day (bpd), according to data released by the General Administration of Customs on Friday.

That compared to 10.04 million bpd in September.

Imports during the first 10 months of the year reached 414.55 million tonnes, or 9.95 million bpd, 10.5% higher than the year earlier period.

Total natural gas imports, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) and pipeline, last month fell to 6.52 million tonnes, down from September's 8.21 million tonnes, customs data showed.

Gas imports in the January to October period reached 77.71 million tonnes, up 7.9% from same period last year.

(Tonne =7.3 barrels for crude conversion) (Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)