Preliminary data indicates that US crude oil imports slightly declined by 30.19 tb/d or 0.34% to average 8.91 mb/d in February m-o-m. Imports on y-o-y basis in February were 899 tb/d or 11.2% higher, having stood at 8.0 mb/d last year. Product imports decreased for the third consecutive month since November and have currently reached a level of 1.89 mb/d. Compared to the month before, the decrease is 192 tb/d or 9.2%. For the y-o-y comparison, a drop of around 596 tb/d or 23.9% in February 2012 is registered. On the other hand, product exports increased in February, by 202 tb/d or 7.0% m-o-m and by 532 tb/d or 20.9% y-o-y, to 3.07 mb/d. As a result, US net oil imports declined in February to 7.69 mb/d, down 425 tb/d or 5.2% m-o-m. On a y-o-y basis, net oil imports are almost 3% lower. The US imported around 3.82 mb/d crude oil from OPEC members in December, representing a share of 43.78%. On a m-o-m comparison, a slight decrease of 62 tb/d or 1.60% was seen. Canada remained the main supplier with 2.44 mb/d or 28.0%, followed by Saudi Arabia with 1.29 mb/d or 14.83%, Mexico with 0.95 mb/d or 10.48%, Venezuela with 0.81 mb/d or 9.29%, and Nigeria with 0.48 mb/d or 5.71%.
On the product side, US imports from OPEC members have decreased by 72 tb/d or 21.1% to an average of around 269 tb/d in December, where OPEC holds a share of 12.0%. Canada and Russia remained the main suppliers to the US market accounting for 496 tb/d or 22.13% and 387 tb/d or 17.27%, respectively, followed by the Virgin Islands with 214 tb/d or 9.60%, Algeria with 156 tb/d or 6.96% and Mexico with 118 tb/d. or 5.27%.
Japan’s crude oil imports increased for the second consecutive month in January, after a stable period of crude imports, which stood around an average of 3.5 mb/d during the second half of the year. January crude imports increased m-o-m to 3.94 mb/d representing an increase of 65 tb/d or 1.7% compared to December’s level. On y-o-y, January’s level represents a decline of 78 tb/d or 1.9%. Product imports, including LPG, decreased to 1.1 mb/d, which represents a decrease of 39 tb/d or 3.4% compared to the month before and an increase of 79 tb/d or 7.7% on a y-o-y basis. Product exports, including LPG, decreased in January by 106 tb/d or 24.2%, averaging 0.33 mb/d. On a y-o-y basis, a decrease of 222 tb/d or 40.1% was registered. As a result, Japan’s net oil imports in January 2012 increased by 133 tb/d or 2.9% m-o-m to 4.7 mb/d. On a y-o-y basis, an increase of 223 tb/d or 5.0% was seen. The increase can be attributed mainly to the net trade in products which was 67 tb/d or 9.6% on a m-o-m basis.
China’s crude oil imports stood at 5.53 mb/d or 21.92 million tonnes in January 2012, up by 380 tb/d y-o-y. Crude oil imports have been driven by continuously rising refining activities. The oil products supply by imports in January registered a decline of 268 tb/d or 27% in a m-o-m comparison. On a y-o-y comparison for the month, a decrease of 581 tb/d or 44.5% is seen. China’s crude oil exports showed a decrease in January of around 5 tb/d or 6.4% to a current level of 74 tb/d from the level of 79 tb/d, m-o-m. Comparing crude exports on a y-o-y basis, a decline of around 8 tb/d or 11.7% is seen. Oil product exports also showed a decline in January of around 95 tb/d or 17.1% m-o-m. On a y-o-y basis, the decrease is 163.0 tb/d or 26.2%. As a result, China’s total net oil imports in January increased by 183 tb/d or 3.3% m-o-m to stand at 5.72 mb/d. The increase could be attributed to crude net imports which increased by 356 tb/d to a level of 5.46 mb/d in an m-o-m comparison in January. The top 5 suppliers to the Chinese market were ranked as Saudi Arabia with 1.14 mb/d (22.0%), followed by Angola with 0.66 mb/d (12.7%), Russia with 0.58 mb/d (11.3%), Iran with 0.49 mb/d (9.5%) and Iraq with 0.38 mb/d (7.3%).
India’s crude oil imports rose sharply in January 2012, by 806 tb/d or 25.2% m-o-m, standing at a level of 4.0 mb/d. In a y-o-y comparison, India’s crude oil imports in January 2011 were at 3.37 mb/d, which represents an increase of 629 tb/d or 18.7% compared to 2012 levels. Product imports in January decreased by 10.0 tb/d or 3.7% compared to December to an average of around 253 tb/d. Despite the increase of Diesel imports in January, the overall descent of certain product imports continued at a slower pace in January as well. However, India’s product imports in January 2012 still remained above the 250 tb/d level, the lowest since May 2011. Compared to a year ago, January’s product imports were 32.3% lower this year. LPG and fuel oil contributed to the product import decrease in January 2012, despite the fact that there were no deliveries for Gasoline for three months and Kerosene for five months. Diesel increased around 50.5 tb/d m-o-m and 26.5 tb/d y-o-y.
On the export side, products decreased by 39.3 tb/d or 3.2% in January 2012 m-o-m standing at 1.18 mb/d. The decrease was partially softened by the moderate increase from Naphtha and Fuel Oil, which represented 11.3 tb/d or 4.6% and 4.2 tb/d or 2.7%, respectively. On a y o-y basis, product exports decreased 54.0 tb/d or 4.4% in January 2012. As a result, India’s net oil imports increased 836 tb/d or 37.3% to average 3.08 mb/d. On a y-o-y comparison, an increase of 562 tb/d or 22.4% was seen.
Total FSU crude exports remained stable in January at 6.41 mb/d or 0.2% m-o-m. The slight drop in the exports of the Transneft system in January was offset by exports from the Caspian region and Russia’s Far East, but overall the shipments were almost unchanged at 6.41 mb/d for the month. Crude exports through the Transneft pipeline system in January were down by 25 tb/d or 0.6% to 4.21 mb/d m-o-m. This mainly reflected a drop in supplies to Poland, which reduced Urals imports through the northern leg of the Druzhba pipeline. Seaborne Urals exports rose by 46 tb/d or 3.2% to 1.5 mb/d as Russian producers increased shipments to Primorsk after pipeline maintenance in December. Supplies to Novorossiyk rose modestly by 17 tb/d or 2.0% to 855 tb/d, reflecting increased transit from Kazakhstan. Kazakh producers increased their crude suppliers through the Russian Black sea port. Exports of Azeri crude through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline have risen by 50 tb/d or 7.8% to a level of 689 tb/d m-o-m due to the completion of field maintenance in Azerbaijan. The export of the CPC Blend increased 37 tb/d or 6.0% to the level of 652 tb/d in January. Exports of Vityaz crude from the Prigorodnoye terminal on Sakhalin Island edged up by 26 tb/d or 10.5% to 273 tb/d.
FSU total product exports rose sharply in January compared to December 2011, with overall shipments up by 18.1%. Milder weather dampened domestic demand for fuel oil as well as a seasonal dip in domestic buying of motor fuel. January also brought a rise of almost 17.2% in gasoline exports, reflecting reduced domestic demand. The raise was not as big as in previous years because the gasoline export duty is still 90% of the crude oil duty rate. Gasoil exports surged by 23% in January. The jump from December follows the stockpiling of gasoil in 4Q11, which resulted in reduced exports towards the end of last year. Fuel oil exports rose by nearly 12% in January, driven by Black Sea exports.