At least five independent refineries in Shandong, China’s northern province, have been ordered to cut operating rates as Beijing aims for blue skies for a regional summit in port city Qingdao next month, sources at the companies said. The instructions come as Qingdao prepares to host the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit on June 9-10. China typically takes such steps ahead of major political gatherings to ensure they proceed with clear air and without any accidents that could disrupt events. The cuts range between 30 percent and 50 percent of the plants’ capacities, removing about 45,000 barrels per day of processing capacity from the market, according to Reuters calculations. That’s a fraction of the 1.9 million bpd that independent refiners, known as teapots, imported in April. But the measures are the latest setback for teapots as they struggle with shrinking profit margins, new tax rules, […]