Preliminary data in October indicate that US crude oil imports rose by 27 tb/d, or 0.3%, m-o-m to average more than 8.83 mb/d. Imports in October were 294 tb/d higher compared to last year’s level, when they stood at 8.5 mb/d. Year-to-date imports are 405 tb/d, or 4.3%, lower than those of last year. They averaged 8.9 mb/d between January and October, compared to 9.3 mb/d for the same period a year ago, implying a 4.3% decline. Product imports dropped steadily since April this year to the level of 1.92 mb/d, declining m-o-m by 90 tb/d or 4.47%. A sharp y-o-y drop of 687 tb/d, or 26.4%, in October 2011 is registered.
On the other hand, product exports rose slightly in October to 2.68 mb/d, which is nearly 226 tb/d, or 9.22%, m-o-m and 219 tb/d, or 8.9%, y-o-y. As a result, US net oil imports declined in October to 8.0 mb/d, down 289 tb/d, or nearly 3.47%, from the previous month. However, net oil imports remained almost 7.2% below the level a year ago.
The US imported around 4.3 mb/d crude oil from OPEC members in August, a 289 tb/d, or 3.1%, decrease m-o-m representing a share of 47.9%. Canada remained the main supplier with 2.24 mb/d, followed by Saudi Arabia with 1.8 mb/d, Mexico with 1.2 mb/d, Nigeria with 0.85 mb/d and Venezuela with 0.81 mb/d. On the product side, US imports from OPEC members declined by 15 tb/d, or 4.4%, to average 324 tb/d in August. OPEC holds a 15.3% share of total US product imports. Canada and Russia remained the main suppliers accounting for 397 tb/d and 334 tb/d, respectively, followed by the Virgin Islands with 185 tb/d, Algeria with 159 tb/d and the UK with 109 tb/d.
Japan’s crude oil imports increased slightly in September. The downward trend earlier this year was reversed in July and August. September imports increased to 3.6 mb/d, an increase of 98 tb/d, or 2.8%, compared to their August level. September imports represented an increase of 156 tb/d, or 4.5%, y-o-y. Product imports (including LPG) edged up to 1.07 mb/d, which represents a slight increase of 0.1%, or 1 tb/d, compared to the month before and 21.3%, or 187 tb/d, on a y-o-y basis. Product exports, including LPG, declined slightly by 1 tb/d averaging As a result, Japan’s net oil imports increased slightly in September by 100 tb/d, or 2.5%, to 4.1 mb/d over August. On a y-o-y basis, an increase of 376 tb/d, or 10.2%, is shown.
China’s crude oil import rebounded after three months of consecutive declines starting May to July 2011. In September there was a further slight increase of 0.4% to 4.99 mb/d, moving closer to the 5 mb/d benchmark. In a y-o-y comparison, September shows a decline of 12.2% or 694 tb/d. The year-to-date comparison statistics shows an increase of 160 tb/d, or 3.3%, to the level of 5.03 mb/d. The decline of crude imports could be mainly attributed to a decrease in domestic crude refining resulting from general losses in the refinery industry, uncertain prospects of oil demand under the current macro-economic situation, as well as maintenance and suspensions due to accidents. Product imports m-o-m were down by 88 tb/d, or 8.6%, to 0.94 mb/d, falling back to the pattern of decline between April and July. China’s crude and product imports showed a decline of, respectively, 68 tb/d, or 1.1%, and a decrease of 703 tb/d, or 10.6%, y-o-y.
Chinese crude oil exports rebound by 51 tb/d to 80 tb/d. Product exports increased as well by 155 tb/d, or 29.1%, to 0.69 mb/d. Crude oil exports over the first nine months were 52 tb/d, or 0.3%, lower than last year’s level and products were 646 tb/d, or 2.5%, slightly below last year’s level. As a result, China’s total net oil imports decreased a further 274 tb/d, or 5.0%, from the previous month to stand at 5.1 mb/d. The drop can be attributed more to product net imports which decreased by 243 tb/d to 0.25 mb/d and less to crude oil net imports which showed a moderate decline of 31 tb/d or 0.6%.
Looking at the first nine months of China’s net oil imports in 2011, total net oil imports rose by 313 tb/d, or 6.1%, to a level of 5.4 mb/d. Suppliers to the Chinese market were ranked as Saudi Arabia with 0.96 mb/d, followed by Angola with 0.64 mb/d, Iran with 0.51 mb/d, Oman with 0.45 mb/d and Russia with 0.41 mb/d.
India’s crude oil imports decreased 235 tb/d, or 7.0%, in September standing at 3.12 mb/d due to maintenance work in September at some refineries. In the first eight months of 2011, imports were 3.38 mb/d, which is 215 tb/d, or 6.8%, higher than the same period during the previous year. Product imports declined for four months in a row in September by 6.3% m-o m, or 18 tb/d, to an average of around 268 tb/d. The only exception was the increase of LPG imports in September to 109.38 tb/d from 84.20 tb/d in August. However, India’s product imports remained above 250 tb/d, the lowest level since May 2011. September’s product imports were 17.4% y-o-y. Gasoline and Fuel Oil were the main contributors to the decrease with a drop of around 62.4% and 31.1%, respectively, each declining from August levels of 26 tb/d and 521.7 tb/d to September levels of 9.94 tb/d and 14.92 tb/d.
India’s product imports in the first nine months of 2011 were at 327 tb/d, which represent a decline of 2%, or 7 tb/d, steady compared with the same period of 2010. On the export side, products decreased by 40 tb/d, or 3.0%, compared to the month before standing at 1.28 mb/d. On a y-o-y basis, product exports increased 6.8% in September 2011. As a result, India’s net oil imports decreased 214 tb/d, or 9.2%, to average 2.10 mb/d but remained above this year’s lowest level in May of 2.096 mb/d.
Total FSU crude exports rose by 216 tb/d m-o-m, or 3.6%, in September to 6.51 mb/d to reach their highest level since April. The increase can account for higher shipments of Russian crude owing to turnarounds at a number of refineries. Also, higher transit shipments of Kazakh Tengiz crude through Russia to Ukrainian ports helped boost the total. Planned maintenance at major refinery sites in Russia caused rerouting in refinery runs in September. Together with these reduced runs, an increase in profitability of the exports through Transneft system led to a jump of 241 tb/d, or 5.9%, to a level of 4.22 mb/d.
Russian producers increased exports to Germany. But overall Druzhba exports were only up by 73 tb/d or 6.2%. Exports of Sakhalin light sweet offshore grades Sokol and Vityaz were up by 21 tb/d, or 8.3%, to 274 tb/d. Lukoil is exporting less crude from its Varandey terminal, with exports down by 15 tb/d, representing 18.5%, to 53 tb/d, compared to the month before reflecting the rapid decline in production.
Pipeline exports of CPC Blend were down by 41 tb/d to 653 tb/d as less Kazakh and Russian crude was shipped along. Exports of BTC Blend from the Turkish port of Ceyhan were marginally down in September to 686 tb/d or 1.4%. Product exports from the FSU continued to fall in September by 2.9%, or 81 tb/d, to a level of 2.48 mb/d. This largely reflects lower product output in Russia and increased secondary processing of straight-run fuel oil and VGO to meet domestic demand for lighter products.
The output of products fell sharply in September ahead of the 1 October increase in export duty under the new 60:66 system, which boosted the rate for dirty products by $64.50/t to $271.50/t, making exports unattractive. M-o-m Gasoline exports fell by 6.9%, or 6 tb/d, to a level of 105 tb/d. Jet fuel dropped sharply by almost 16%, or 3 tb/d, to a level of 13 tb/d. Exports of VGO increased more than 16%, or 37 tb/d, to 190 tb/d. Naphtha exports fell by 26 tb/d, or 8.6%, to a level of 205 tb/d and exports of Gasoil declined almost 11%, which represents 78 tb/d, to a level of 671 tb/d.