Nippon Oil Q1 profits surge 84% largely due to rising petrochem demand

Nippon Oil Corp. profit surged 84% in the first-quarter, prompting Japan's biggest refiner to raise its full-year forecast as higher crude oil prices boost the value of the company's inventories. Nippon Oil is benefiting from rising Chinese demand for petrochemicals, increasing output of products such as paraxylene. Crude oil prices have gained 25% this year, boosting the value of the refiner's stockpiles along with natural gas and oil it produces at fields in the U.S. Gulf and Australia. Sales rose 4.6% to 1.58 trillion yen in the first quarter and Nippon Oil increased full-year forecast by 3.4% to 6.99 trillion yen.
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