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China Buys Up Russian Oil


1. As TMX Starts Line Fill, China Takes Centre Stage

- Canadian crude will start flowing to China directly (up until now it has only been exported from the US Gulf Coast) as the impending launch of the Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline saw the first deals being made.

- Chinese refiner Sinochem bought the first ever TMX cargo, an Aframax worth of heavy sour Access Western Blend at the equivalent discount of $5 per barrel to August ICE Brent futures on a delivered basis.

- Canadian crude exports are set to surpass the 5 million b/d threshold by 2025, with oil producers at last having the optionality to send their barrels to the US Gulf Coast or to TMX as pipeline capacity moves above production at 5.2 million b/d.

- Canada will need new pipelines to meet its production growth, however with TMX taking 12 years to complete and requiring an ownership switch from Kinder Morgan to the government, we might see another infrastructure bottleneck shaping up by the end of this decade.

2. China Binges on Russian Oil as Indian Demand Hits Headwinds

- China is on track to buy the highest-ever volume of Russian crude in March, boosted by the rerouted flows of Sokol, a grade that for most of 2023 was supplied to Indian refiners.  

- According to Kpler data, Chinese refiners will receive 1.7 million b/d of Russian crude from the seas, that’s over and above the 0.8 million b/d they receive via pipelines, with…

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