Preliminary data showed that US crude imports in June 2012 increased by 248 tb/d to 9.10 mb/d, representing 2.8% increase from the previous month and a 1.5% decrease on a y-o-y basis. Year-to-date, crude imports declined slightly by 1.3%. US products imports for the same month increased by 281 tb/d to 2.2 mb/d, which is 14.3% higher m-o-m yet 12.0% lower than the previous year. Products imports in a year-to-date comparison saw a larger decline than crude, estimated at 23%. Product exports saw a minor increase of 2.4% totaling 2.9 mb/d. On a y-o-y basis, it showed an increase of 12.6%. Accordingly, net US oil imports increased in June by 460 tb/d to 8.4 mb/d, around 5.8% higher m-o-m, but 8.4% lower y-o-y. As to the US crude oil imports from OPEC Member Countries, the amount in April was stable both on a m-o-m and y-o-y basis, despite a wide variation of sources. This reflected a share of 47.5% of total US crude imports. Imports from Saudi Arabia, mKuwait, Libya and Ecuador saw a major increase from last year’s levels, while imports from Iraq, Nigeria and Algeria witnessed a substantial decline m-o-m.
As the latest monthly data show, US imports from Saudi crude in April had a significant increase of 45.7% compared to the previous year. This increased volume is considered the highest since July 2008. Also, it accounts for 18.5% of US crude imports, which is the highest share in US crude imports since 2003. It also represents an increase of 15.7% on a m-o-m basis. Currently, Saudi Arabia is ranked as the second largest crude supplier to the US after Canada, which accounted for 28% of total US crude imports. US imports from Canada declined by 1.7% from the previous month; yet gained 16.5% in an annual comparison. Mexico and Venezuela maintained third and fourth place, respectively, as suppliers, representing 11.1% and 9.7% of US imports, respectively. Additionally, while US crude imports from Mexico saw a minor increase of 0.4%, imports from Venezuela and Kuwait declined by 10.8% and 49.1%, respectively, m-o-m.
In terms of products in April, US imports from OPEC Member Countries increased by 78 tb/d or 33.2% from the previous month to average 313 tb/d. On an annual basis, imports decreased by 28.7%. With regard to the share of supply, Canada and Russia maintained their position as first and second ranked product suppliers to the US with a 25% and 14% share, respectively. The United Kingdom came in third place with 10%, after having increased its share in April m-o-m by 54.5%, followed by Algeria and Korea at 7.6% and 4.5%, respectively.
Japan’s crude oil imports in May 2012 fell by 9.1% to 3.6 mb/d m-o-m. Crude imports increased by 16% for the same month. In terms of sources, crude imports from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Vietnam all witnessed an increase in their export volumes to Japan in May. Products imports declined as well by 50 tb/d or 7.7% from levels seen in April 2012. However, a 19.6% increase has been registered in this sector compared to the previous year. Product exports for the same period increased by 5% m-o-m, to average 477 tb/d, and increased by 6.2% on a y-o-y basis. Consequently, Japan’s net oil imports have decreased by 432 tb/d or 10.5% from a month earlier to reach 3.7 mb/d in May. Nevertheless, annual figures have shown an increase of 564 tb/d, which is equal to an 18% gain over the same period of 2011.
China crude imports reached a record level in May 2012 increasing by 585 tb/d or m 10.8% from the previous month to a total of 6.0 mb/d. On a y-o-y basis, Chinese imports have grown by 18.2%, an increase of 929 tb/d. On a year-to-date basis, China crude oil imports increased by 10.4%. Crude oil exports rebounded in May 2012 after the previous month’s decline. Crude exports averaged 42 tb/d, while compared to figures seen in May of last year, total crude exports increased by 30 tb/d. The increased volumes, primarily sourced from the Middle East, are driven mainly by increased export volumes to China from Iraq, Iran, UAE and Yemen. Saudi Arabia has increased its exports to China by 13.7% compared to last year and Iraq and UAE both also raised their exports to China by 64% and 32%, respectively. Product imports increased by 11.4% in May 2012 to reach a level of 853 tb/d m-o-m. On a y-o-y basis, a decline of 224 tb/d or 20.8% was registered over last year’s figures. China product exports saw an increase of 25.1% over the previous month to average 527 tb/d for the same period, while on a y-o-y basis the product exports reflect a decrease of 26.2%. China net oil imports increased by 537 tb/d to average 6.31 mb/d or 9.3% in May 2012 compared to a month before. In an annual comparison, they gained 862 tb/d or 15.8%.
India crude oil imports declined in May by 122 tb/d or 3.4% over the previous month to 3.5 mb/d. However, they achieved a gain of 5.9% over the previous year. While product imports fell by 64 tb/d or 19% m-o-m, they increased by 22 tb/d or 8.7% on a y-o-y basis to average 272 tb/d. The monthly decline in product imports came on the back of reduced imports of diesel, LPG, naphtha and fuel oil. India’s products exports declined by 48 tb/d or 4.6% m-o-m while the decrease was 29.7% y-o-y. Generally, there was a decline of product exports for diesel, petrol and fuel oil, while they increased for naphtha and jet fuel. The above resulted in a decline in India’s net oil imports by 138 tb/d or 4.8% from the previous month. In comparison to a year ago, they increased by 30.2%.
Total FSU crude exports dropped by 463 tb/d to average 6.4 mb/d after reaching a record level in April 2012. The decrease of export volumes in May was attributed to the increasing demand from local refineries and supported by high profitability. Russian pipeline crude exports dropped as well by 147 tb/d or 3.3% m-o-m to average 4.4 mb/d. The supply of Russian blend to China fell by 3.2% to 299 tb/d. Likewise, exports from Kozimino saw a similar decline of 3.1%. Both CPC and BTC crude exports had declined by 20.2% and 12.2%, respectively. Kazakh crude rail exports reached their lowest levels this year by losing 58 tb/d to average 110 tb/d resulting in a m-o-m decline of 34.5%. Ural exports through the Baltic decreased by 5.6% to average 1.8 mb/d, while exports from the Black Sea decreased by 7.8% to average 836 tb/d. Total FSU products exports declined in May by 6.4% or 619 tb/d to stand at 9.1 mb/d. The decline in products exports was seen across all products with the exception of vacuum gasoil, which saw an increase of 10.5% over the previous month.