• 4 minutes End of Sanction Waivers
  • 8 minutes Balancing Act---Sanctions, Venezuela, Trade War and Demand
  • 11 minutes Mueller Report Brings Into Focus Obama's Attempted Coup Against Trump
  • 14 minutes What Would Happen If the World Ran Out of Crude Oil?
  • 2 hours US Military Spends at least $81 Billion Protecting OPEC Persian Gulf Oil Shipping Lanes (16% DoD Budget)
  • 6 hours Overheating the Earth: High Temperatures Shortened Alaska’s Winter Weather
  • 3 hours "Undeniable" Shale Slowdown?
  • 27 mins Saudi Arabia Says To Coordinate With Other Producers To Ensure Adequate Oil Supply
  • 6 hours China To Promote Using Wind Energy To Power Heating
  • 6 hours Climate Change Protests
  • 3 hours How many drilling sites are left in the Permian?
  • 4 hours Gas Flaring
  • 3 hours Don't Climb Onto the $80+ Oil Price Greed Roller Coaster, Please.
  • 4 hours O&G now in the Magical Goldilocks Zone of $70 Brent
  • 6 hours Populist Surge Coming in Europe's May Election
  • 4 hours Mueller Report Brings Into Focus Trump's Attempts to Interfere in the Special Counsel Investigation
Are China’s Crude Reserves Quietly Dwindling?

Are China’s Crude Reserves Quietly Dwindling?

While China’s strategic petroleum reserves…

China Just Became The World’s Top Oil Importer

Oil Barrels

With a daily import rate of 9.17 million barrels of crude last month, China broke its own previous record and overtook the U.S. as the largest importer of the commodity globally, both in March and in the year to date.

One of the reasons for the spike in imports was teapots scrambling to get crude after they finally received their import quotas from the government. Last year, there was worry that they would not be assigned new quotas with Beijing giving preference to state-owned giants, but this failed to pass.

Most of the cargoes going to teapot refiners were scheduled to arrive in March, hence the record-breaking number. Some shipments for state refiners probably accounted for the rest of the increase – they were bought in December and January from North Sea producers and only arrived at their destination in March.

The increase in imports means that China has amassed a crude oil inventory of 1.7 million bpd, one analyst from HIS Markit told Reuters. The number is unprecedented, but in the coming months imports are bound to fall, Harry Liu noted, as Chinese refineries enter maintenance season. Other analysts share the opinion, with some expecting a sharp drop as soon as this month.

Related: China’s Electric Vehicle Market Is Unbeatable

Over the first quarter, China’s oil import rate averaged 8.49 million bpd, versus 8.17 million bpd for the U.S. According to Bloomberg, the trend of rising imports will continue as more refineries come on stream, fuel use expands, and the government ramps up its strategic reserves.

Meanwhile, domestic output is declining. For January and February, the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics reported a combined output of 31.44 million tons, or 230.455 million barrels, down 8 percent on an annual basis. The decline was a result of field depletion and the higher production costs associated with it.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News