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Is China's Oil Buying Spree Over?

COVID Market Update

- Crude oil purchases by China appear to be hitting the brakes in July after record purchases in May for loadings in June, with analysts now concerned that the buying spree has lost momentum, with inventories now full. Some are still banking on China’s small teapot refineries rushing to grab more imported crude while they can under license and before the government changes its mind. In the meantime, shipping data appears to indicate that China imported more than 20% less crude in June than it did in May.

- For June, Iran managed to sell its heavy crude oil at $36.26 per barrel in the mentioned month, up from $23.55 per barrel in May, according to Iranian media. Iranian sources also put average Iranian crude output for Q2 2020 at 1.958 million bpd, down just over 100,000 bpd from Q1 2020.

- In Latin America, oil and gas companies will be cutting over $8 billion in capex for this year, slashing guidance by about 30%, with Mexican state-run Pemex leading the capex cut push with the lion’s share of that.

- California Resources, the largest oil driller in the state, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, becoming the latest casualty of the oil price crash and COVID demand culling. The company said it had agreed a restructuring plan with most of its shareholders, which will see its debt pile significantly reduced, by about $5 billion.

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