Refining and Petchems Lift PetroChina, Sinopec

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China's robust economic recovery has helped the country's two largest state-controlled refiners post strong results for the first quarter of this year. A surge in demand for petrochemicals at home and overseas contributed to China's eye-popping first-quarter GDP growth rate of 18.3% and also boosted the refining and chemicals segments of PetroChina and Sinopec (IOD Apr.28'21). PetroChina -- a subsidiary of China's largest oil and gas producer China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) -- reported a first-quarter net profit of 27.72 billion yuan ($4.28 billion). That was its strongest first-quarter result since 2014. And for the first time since it was listed in Hong Kong in 2000, the combined operating profit of PetroChina's refining and chemicals segments exceeded the operating profit of its upstream oil and gas segment. High Capacity Utilization Sinopec -- China's largest refiner -- took full advantage of China's rebound from the initial wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Its refineries are more sophisticated than those of PetroChina and it also has more petrochemical capacity.

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