China’s Ministry of Commerce announced on Wednesday that the quota for non-state crude oil imports will be raised to 142 million tonnes for 2018, 55 percent higher than that for 2017.
The volume is equivalent to around 37 percent of China’s crude imports last year.
Applicants for the quota shall provide records of crude oil imports for the past two years or qualifications to process imported crude oil, according to MOC rules.
The ministry said the quotas will be allocated in batches and the volume could be adjusted in the process.
China gave private refineries the green light to directly import crude oil in 2015 as the government tried to attract private capital into the largely monopolized sector.
China is one of the world’s largest oil buyers. Over 60 percent of its oil consumption comes from imports. Crude imports are mainly dominated by state-run giants Sinopec, China National Petroleum Corporation and China National Offshore Oil Corporation.
Customs data on Wednesday showed China imported 349 million tonnes of crude oil in the first ten months of 2017, up 11.8 percent year on year.