China Oil Trade - April 2013

Source: OPEC 5/21/2013, Location: Asia

China’s crude oil imports rose slightly in March by 10 tb/d or 0.2% to average 5.5 mb/d, while refineries registered lower crude runs. In an annual comparison, crude imports dropped by 119 tb/d or 2% from last year’s level. On a year-to-date basis, the numbers show a marginal decline of 65 tb/d or 1.2%.

Saudi Arabia, Angola and Iraq were first, second and third biggest suppliers of crude in that order, accounting for 19%, 15% and 9% of total Chinese imports. In a monthly comparison, volumes imported from Saudi Arabia and Angola were nearly stable, while Iraq increased its exports to China by 16.5%. Russia and Iran were fourth and fifth largest suppliers to China in March, with shares of 8% and 7.5%, respectively.

Chinese product imports declined by 152 tb/d or 16.5% from the previous month to average 768 tb/d, the lowest seen since August 2012, also representing a drop of 195 tb/d or 20% y-o-y.

However, Chinese product exports saw a monthly gain of 54 tb/d or 9%, and an annual increase of 146 tb/d or 29% from the previous year’s level. Chinese product exports reached their highest point since September 2011, as a result of newly added refining capacity and slower growth in domestic demand. Accordingly, China’s net oil trade declined by 235 tb/d or 4% on a monthly basis, while on annual basis the decline was greater at 476 tb/d or 8%.

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