Crude processing slows in January-February period
China refined the least crude in four months as fuel demand in the world’s second-largest oil consumer slowed amid a cooling economy. Processing in the January-to-February period fell 1 percent from a year earlier to 78.78 million metric tons, the National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday. That equals an average of 9.79 million barrels a day, the lowest rate since October. The bureau in Beijing combines data for the two months, citing distortions from the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday. Refiners are cutting oil processing as the pace of China’s economic expansion slows. Benchmark US crude futures dropped the past three days, the longest losing streak in more than two months, after data showed an 18.1 percent slump in exports.