Preliminary data indicates that US crude oil imports declined by 401 tb/d or 4.4% to average more than 8.8 mb/d in September. Imports in September were 423 tb/d below last year’s level, stood at 9.2 mb/d. Similarly, year-to-date imports are 463 tb/d lower than those of last year. They averaged 8.9 mb/d between January and September, compared to 9.4 mb/d for the same period a year ago, implying a 4.9% decline. Product imports dropped steadily since April this year and have currently arrived at a level of 2.0 mb/d. Compared to the month before, the decline is around 63 tb/d or 3.04%. For the y-o-y data, a sharp drop of around 588 tb/d or 22.7% in September 2011 is registered.
Gasoline and jet fuel were the main contributors to the decline in September, which fell to 104.2 tb/d or dropped by 14.8% and 18.5 tb/d or 49.3% respectively. On the other hand, product exports rose slightly in September to 2.45 mb/d, nearly by 89 tb/d or 3.78% m-o-m and 7.3% or 165.6 tb/d y-o-y. Fuel oil and jet fuel increased by 4.2% and 11.9% respectively. As a result, US net oil imports declined in September to 8.3 mb/d, down 554 tb/d or nearly 6.23% from the previous month. However, net oil imports remained almost 12.1% below the year-ago level.
The US imported around 4.6 mb/d crude oil from OPEC Members in July, a 15 tb/d or 0.3% increase m-o-m, representing a share of 49.3%. Canada remained the main supplier with 2.19 mb/d, followed by Saudi Arabia with 1.3 mb/d, then Mexico with 1.1 mb/d, Venezuela with 0.88 mb/d and lastly Nigeria with 0.82 mb/d. On the product side, US imports from OPEC Members rose by 30 tb/d or 10% to average 339 tb/d in July. OPEC holds a share of 14.4% in total US product imports. Canada and Russia remained the main suppliers, accounting for 18.6% and 15.3%, respectively, followed by the Virgin Islands with 8.1% and UK with 6.2%.
Japan’s crude oil imports continued to stabilize in August after a sustained decline in March June due to the tragic events early in the year. The trend was reversed in July, rising by 15.2% m-o-m; while in August the imports stood at 3.5 mb/d representing only a slight decline of 5 tb/d or 0.2% compared to July’s level. However, y-o-y July’s level represents a decline of 90 tb/d or 2.5%. The reconstruction efforts after the March earthquake attribute to the stabilization of imports, where refiners are coming back to meet the increased demand for products on the one hand, and direct burning crude for power generation from Japanese utilities which compensate for nuclear power plant shutdowns, on the other hand.
Product imports, including LPG, edged up to 1.07 mb/d, which represents a slight decrease of 0.4% or 4 tb/d compared to the month before and 8.2% or 81 tb/d y-o-y. Product exports, including LPG, increased slightly for the fourth consecutive month to 14 tb/d, averaging 0.60 mb/d, the highest since February 2011. As a result, Japan’s net oil imports decreased slightly to 3.9 mb/d, declining 23 tb/d or 0.6% from July, but increased 89 tb/d or 2.3% on a y-o-y basis.
After three months of consecutive decline by 381 tb/d or 8.3%, China’s crude oil imports rebounded in August to 4.97 mb/d by 8.3%, moving slightly below the 5 mb/d benchmark. In a y-o-y comparison, August shows a slight increase of 0.7% or 34 tb/d. The year-to-date comparison statistic shows an increase of 266 tb/d to the level of 5.03 mb/d by 5.6%. Similarly, product imports were up to 1.03 mb/d by 10 tb/d or 0.9% m-o-m, registering their first rise since the decline in March. The rebound could be attributed to stock builds and growing product demand concerning increased car usage, raising private car ownership and the ending of the fishing moratorium. China’s crude and product imports showed a total increase of 391 tb/d or 7.0% and an increase of 202 tb/d or 3.5% compared with a year earlier respectively.
Despite the recent decline, China’s crude oil imports over the first eight months of 2011 registered an increase of 266 tb/d or 5.6% to stand at 5.0 mb/d. Similarly, products averaged 1.1 mb/d in the first eight months of 2011, 153 tb/d or 15.9% more than a year ago, implying that the combined growth in total oil is 420 tb/d for the first eight months of 2011, compared to last year’s level. Chinese crude oil exports declined by 17 tb/d to 29 tb/d or 37.3%. Product exports declined as well by 140 tb/d or 20.9% to 0.53 mb/d. Crude oil exports over the first eight months were 49 tb/d or 3.6% above last year’s level and products stood at 640 tb/d or 4.1% slightly below the last year’s level.
As a result, China’s total net oil imports increased further by 549 tb/d or 11.2% from the previous month to stand at 5.4 mb/d. This was the lowest since the 4.1 mb/d last October. Looking at the first eight months of China’s net oil imports in 2011, the total net oil imports rose by 445 tb/d or 8.9% to a level of 5.4 mb/d. Top suppliers to the Chinese market were Saudi Arabia with 0.93 mb/d, followed by Angola 0.72 mb/d, Kazakhstan 0.65 mb/d, Iran 0.46 mb/d and lastly Oman with 0.44 mb/d.
India’s crude oil imports increased 121 tb/d or 3.7% in August, partially offsetting the decrease of the month before to stand at a level of 3.35 mb/d. The temporary retrieve was caused by crimped fuel demand due to monsoon rains. The increase in August was supported by the Indian refinery sector, which currently operates at the same rate of growth compared to the year before. However, maintenance work in some refineries has been announced for September, which will result in reduced imports of crude. India’s crude oil imports in the firsts eight months of 2011 were at 3.40 mb/d, 277 tb/d or8.8% higher than in the same period of the previous year.
Product imports declined for three consecutive months up to August by 9.2% or 30 tb/d to an average of around 287 tb/d. Despite the sharp increase of gasoline imports in August to 26.5 tb/d from 3.13 tb/d in July, the overall descent in product imports continued in August. However, India’s product imports remained above 250 tb/d, the lowest level from May in 2011. Compared to a year ago, July’s product imports were 10% lower this year. Diesel and naphtha were the main contributors to the decrease of around 84% and 43% respectively. Each fuel declined from July levels of 14.4 tb/d and 67.6 tb/d to a level of 2.4 tb/d and 38.49 tb/d in August. Imports of LPG and kerosene declined by 16.7% and 36.4% each from the month before to a level of 84.2 tb/d and 16.8 tb/d, respectively. Fuel oil stood steady at 21.7 tb/d in August.
India’s product imports in the first eight months were at 335 tb/d, which stood steady compared to the same period of the previous year. On the export side, products marginally increased by 7 tb/d or 0.6% compared to the month before to stand at 1.28 mb/d. The increase is slowly offsetting the sharp drop from this year’s high level of 1.43 mb/d in May. On a y-o-y basis, product exports increased 5.4% in August 2011. As a result, India’s net oil imports decreased 99 tb/d or 4.4% to average 2.35 mb/d but remained above this year’s lowest level in May of 2.10 mb/d.
Total FSU crude exports rose in August by 210 tb/d or 3.5% m-o-m. This represents growing exports from Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, which were reduced in July due to production and logistical problems. Russian exports were relatively steady compared to July 2011. Overall pipeline exports through the Transneft system fell by 73 tb/d. This came as a result of a drop in transit after Kazakh crude deliveries were diverted into the CPC system and rail transportation. Over the same period, pipeline exports to China were down by 34 tb/d to the level of 279 tb/d, while the exports through Russia’s Pacific Kozmino terminal rose by 24 tb/d to the level of 332 tb/d. Exports at the Baltic port Primorsk were down by 23 tb/d to 1.29 mb/d, while exports from Novorossiysk on the Black Sea dipped to 939 tb/d. Supplies to Europe through the Druzhba system fell by 31 tb/d to 1.14mb/d, reflecting the export drop to Slovakia’s 115 tb/d Bratislava refinery. Exports to China along the Kenkiyak-Alashankou pipeline moderately rose by 4 tb/d to 242 tb/d. Kazakh producers increased exports through the CPC system and by rail as well, following strikes and maintenance.
CPC Blend exports were up by 5.5% or 36 tb/d to a level of 694 tb/d. Exports of Sakhalin grades in August were steady compared to the previous month at 253 tb/d. Exports from Varandey terminal on the Barent sea continued to slide, caused by the dwindling output from its Naryanmarneftegaz joint venture with ConocoPhillips to 68 tb/d compared to 81 tb/d in July. Overall product exports from the FSU in August fell by 7.1% or 194 tb/d to a level of 2.56 mb/d due to the start of refinery maintenance programmes. Exports of fuel oil fell by nearly 7.5% or 106 tb/d to the level of 1.3 mb/d as refineries processed more of the straight-run grades to boost clean product output.
Jet fuel exports were down by 16% or 3 tb/d from July at the current level of 16.0 tb/d, reflecting the domestic shortage. Russian exports of VGO dropped more than 30% or 71 tb/d to 153 tb/d since the domestic refiners continued processing more of the product in a bid to increase gasoline output. Naphtha exports fell by 72 tb/d or 24% to a level of 231 tb/d m-o-m, which reflects the fact that the export duty rate introduced for the product is still running at 90%.