Preliminary data indicates that US crude oil imports declined by 100 tb/d, or 1.16%, to an average of around 8.54 mb/d in December. They were 152 tb/d, or 1.7%, lower than the previous year’s level, when they stood at 8.7 mb/d. Year-to-date (y-t-d) imports were 322 tb/d, or 3.5%, lower than those of the year before. They averaged 8.9 mb/d between January and December, compared with 9.2 mb/d for the same period a year ago, implying a 3.5% decline. Product imports increased again in December, after declining steadily from April to October, and reached 2.28 mb/d. Compared with the month before, the increase was 92 tb/d, or 4.19%. Y-o-y, a drop of around 158 tb/d, or 6.5%, in December was registered. The y-t-d figure averaged 2.43 mb/d between January and December, compared with 2.6 mb/d for the same period a year ago, indicating a 5.9% decline. Product exports increased slightly in December to 2.85 mb/d — by 34 tb/d, or 1.21%, m-o-m and by 241 tb/d, or 9.3%, y-o-y. The y-t-d averaged 2.80 mb/d between January and December, compared with 2.31 mb/d for the same period a year ago, implying an increase of around 21%.
As a result, US net oil imports declined in December to 7.9 mb/d, down 43 tb/d, or 0.53%, m o-m. However, they remained almost 6.4% below the year-ago level. The y-t-d averaged 8.48 mb/d between January and December, compared with 9.44 mb/d for the same period a year ago, implying a decline of around 10.2%. The US imported around 4.04 mb/d crude oil from OPEC Member Countries in October, and this constituted a 44.79% share of total imports to the US. M o-m, a slight increase of 12 tb/d, or 0.30%, is shown. Canada remained the main supplier, with 2.27 mb/d or 25.2%, followed by Saudi Arabia with 1.12 mb/d or 12.4%, Mexico with 1.08 mb/d or 12.0%, Venezuela with around 0.86 mb/d or 9.5%, and Nigeria with 0.63 mb/d or 7.0%. On the product side, US imports from OPEC Member Countries decreased by 72 tb/d, or 24.4%, to average around 223 tb/d in October. OPEC held an 11.3% share of total US product imports. Canada and Russia remained the main suppliers, accounting for 421 tb/d, or 21.4%, and 305 tb/d, or 15.5%, respectively, followed by the Virgin Islands with 151 tb/d, or 7.7%, the UK with 122 tb/d, or 6.2%, and Algeria with 110 tb/d, or 5.6%.
Japan’s crude oil imports increased in November after declining in October, which had brought to end a stable period of two months in July-August and an increase in imports in September. November crude imports increased from October to 3.6 mb/d, constituting a rise of 153 tb/d, or 4.5%. Y-o-y, November’s level represented a decline of 515 tb/d, or 12.7%. Comparing the first 11 months, which stood at an average monthly level of 3.53 mb/d, we observe a decrease of 4.0%, or 148 tb/d, versus the same period the year before, when the figure was 3.68 mb/d. Product imports, including LPG, increased to 1.04 mb/d, which represented an increase of 5.6%, or 55 tb/d, compared with the month before and an increase of 2.8%, or 28 tb/d, on a y-o-y basis. Comparing the first 11 months, a level of 1.02 mb/d was reached, which was 7.0%, or 67 tb/d, higher than the same period a year ago, when the figure was 957 tb/d.
Product exports, including LPG, declined by 74 tb/d, or 15.3%, averaging 0.41 mb/d. Y-o-y, we observe a decrease of 20.8%, or 107 tb/d. The first 11 months saw a slight decline of 6.9%, or 37 tb/d, compared with the same period the year before, when the level was 536 tb/d. As a result, Japan’s net oil imports increased in November to 4.2 mb/d, up 282 tb/d, or 7.2%, from the month before. On a y-o-y basis, a decline of 379 tb/d, or 8.3%, can be seen. The decline can be attributed mainly to the net trade in crude oil, which was down 12.7%, or 515, tb/d on a m-o-m basis.
China’s crude oil imports came to 5.55 mb/d, or 22.7 million tonnes, in November (an increase of 9.1% on a tonnage basis, or 12.7% on a b/d basis or 625 tb/d). This substantial increase in November can be attributed mainly to the domestic refinery runs, since they increased their processing volumes in the wake of the oil-shortage breaking out in parts of China in mid-October. The refining runs peaked in November, when crude imports hit a second monthly high of 22.69 mt, which draw near to the historic high level of September 2010 of 23.29 mt. Y-o-y, an 8.5% increase, representing 437 tb/d, compared with the previous year’s level of 5.11 mb/d, is shown. Comparing the first 11 months with the same period the year before, China’s crude imports stood at 5.06 mb/d, a 5.6% increase, or 267 tb/d, on a y-o-y basis. Oil product supply by imports \ registered a boost of 30%, or 266 tb/d, in November m-o-m. Y-o-y, a decrease of 0.8%, or 9 tb/d, is shown. This rise in product imports can be explained by a cut in product oil tariffs. A comparison of the first 11 months for China’s product imports shows an increase of 1.08 mb/d, or 11.7%, representing 113 tb/d, compared with the same period the year before.
China’s crude oil exports showed a moderate increase m-o-m in November of around 29%, or 7 tb/d, to 32 tb/d, from 25 tb/d. Comparing crude exports y-o-y, a decline of around 21.8%, or 13 tb/d, is shown. Oil product exports also showed an increase in November, of around 35% or 164 tb/d, m-o-m. On a y-o-y basis, the increase is 2.7%, or 17 tb/d. Y-t-d, a level of 627 tb/d indicates a decline of 3.1%, or 20 tb/d, from the previous year’s level of 647 tb/d. As a result, China’s total net oil imports increased by 720 tb/d, or 13.5%, in November m-o-m to stand at 6.05 mb/d. This increase can be attributed to crude and product net imports, which rose by 619 tb/d to 5.51 mb/d and by 101 tb/d to 0.53 mb/d respectively. Looking at the first 11 months of 2011, China’s total net oil imports rose by 414 tb/d, or 8.2%, to 5.47 mb/d. The top-five suppliers to the Chinese market were ranked as Saudi Arabia with 1.18 mb/d, Angola with 0.75 mb/d, Iran with 0.62 mb/d, Russia with 0.46 mb/d and Oman with 0.39 mb/d.
India’s crude oil imports increased m-o-m by 628 tb/d, or 21.0%, in November, to stand at 3.62 mb/d. In the first 11 months of 2011, they were 3.37 mb/d, which was 230 tb/d, or 7.3%, higher than in the same period of the previous year. Product imports decreased slightly for sixth consecutive months up to November by 0.5%, or 1 tb/d, to an average of around 259 tb/d. Despite increases in gasoline and fuel oil imports in November, the overall decline in product imports continued at a slower pace. However, India’s product imports remained above the 250 tb/d level, the lowest from May in 2011. Compared with a year ago, November’s product imports were 25.7% lower. LPG was also a contributor to the product import decrease in November 2011 aside from the fact that there were no deliveries for gasoline and kerosene. LPG declined by around 2.0%, or 1.8 tb/d, compared with the month before, to 92.0 tb/d. India’s product imports in the first 11 months were 315 tb/d, which represented a decline of around 5.4%, or 18 tb/d, compared with the same period the previous year, when it was 333 tb/d.
On the export side, products decreased by 40 tb/d, or 3.3%, in November m-o-m, to 1.23 mb/d. On a y-o-y basis, product exports increased by 8.2% in November. Over the first 11 months, they showed an increase of 19.6%, or 207 tb/d, to reach 1.26 mb/d, compared with the same period of 2010, when they were 1.06 mb/d. As a result, India’s net oil imports increased by 586 tb/d, or 28.5%, to an average of 2.65 mb/d, which was the second-highest level since 2.94 mb/d in April. Year-on-year, they showed a rise of 16.5%. Comparing the first 11 months, which saw a level of 2.42 mb/d, we can note a moderate increase of 2.0%, or 5.0 tb/d, compared with the previous year’s 2.42 tb/d.
Total FSU crude exports increased in November by 221 tb/d, or 3.4%, m-o-m to 6.68 mb/d. The increase can be seen as being mainly due to the attempt to maximize crude oil exports in November, ahead of an increase in export duty which was supposed to start in January 2012. However, increased pipeline exports from Russia were partially offset by reduced exports from Azerbaijan. Exports of Azeri crude, using the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, dropped to 613 tb/d, down by 63 tb/d or 9.3%, in November, due to a planned production shutdown caused by field maintenance. Shipments through Russia’s Transneft pipeline system rose by 6.3% to 4.48 mb/d, the highest level since April 2007. In addition to the rush to avoid the export duty hike, as mentioned above, loadings were increased by continuing maintenance at Russian refineries. Exports of Kazakh crude to China through the Kenkiyak-Alashankou pipeline were raised in November m-o-m by 9.6%, or 16 tb/d, after the steep 30%, or 75 tb/d, decline in October.
Exports of CPC Blend through the Caspian Pipeline Consortium terminal at Novorossiysk were up m-o-m in November by 49 tb/d, or 7.8%, to 677 tb/d, reflecting higher shipments by Russia’s Rosneft and increased output in Kazakhstan. Black Sea pipeline exports were up m-o-m to 1.02 mb/d, by 81 tb/d, or 8.7%, compared with October. Shipments of Russian crude along the Druzhba pipeline increased m-o-m by 3.4%, or 41 tb/d, after a high level of supply during October. Exports of ESPO Blend from Russia’s far-eastern Kozmino terminal were down by 15 tb/d, or 5.3%, to 269 tb/d in November, while direct pipeline exports to China were stable at 313 tb/d. Exports from Sakhalin fell in November as a result of the drop in loadings of light sweet offshore grade Sokol, bringing overall exports from Russia’s far east to 274 tb/d, a decline of 7.4%, or 22 tb/d, compared with the month before.
Crude exports from Varandey terminal in northern Russia dropped sharply in November to 53 tb/d from 138 tb/d. The high level in October was due to the loading of accumulated oil storage at the port. The FSU’s product exports were broadly stable in November, with only a marginal decline of 1.5% to 2.42 mb/d, compared with October. It was mainly the conclusion of routine seasonal maintenance in Russian refineries that limited exports of most products. In particular, supplies of fuel oil rose slightly, by 3.4% or 43 tb/d, although this was countered by a decrease in gasoil of 0.6%, or 4 tb/d, after the Energy Ministry ordered oil companies to minimize exports of 10ppm sulphur gasoil in November to ensure sufficient domestic supply, following the ban on sales of gasoil with sulphur content exceeding 500ppm.
Jet exports rose sharply, by 3 tb/d, to 4.0 tb/d in November, compared with 1 tb/d in October. The low figure in October followed an acute shortage of jet fuel at Russian airports in September and also reflected reduced output of the product by Russian refineries. Gasoline and naphtha exports declined by around 41.4%, or 58 tb/d, to 82 tb/d and by 13.3%, or 30 tb/d, to 196 tb/d respectively in November m-o-m.