China’s Crude Imports Rebound as Emergency Reserves Open

Published Date : Jul 14, 2015

Crude imports in China rebounded at a near record in June as the country started filling tanks at a new emergency petroleum reserve site. 

According to preliminary information revealed by the General Administration of Customs on Monday in Beijing, overseas shipments at the world’s second largest oil consumer went up to 29.49 million metric tons last month, an increase by 27 per cent from the previous month when shipments has reached the lowest since February last year. Oil imports in June reach around 7.2 million barrels per day, in comparison with a record 7.4 million in the month of April, according to Bloomberg calculations.

Crude imports in China went up as the country began filling the next phase of emergency reserves in Qingdao. The eastern city has a capacity of 3 million cubic meters or approximately 19 million barrels. According to Shanghai based commodity researcher ICIS China, oil imports may increase in the third quarter as yet another storage site is scheduled to open in the southern Chinese city of Huizhou.

Amy Sun, an ICIS China analyst said that the filling of the emergency reserves in Qingdao has most certainly played an important role in the increase of oil imports. In addition, refineries were slowly resuming operations last month since it was toward the end of seasonal maintenance. This pushed up the demand for crude. 

According to customs data, crude imports in China rose by 7.5 per cent in the first six months of 2015, which was slower than the 10 per cent rate during the same period last year. The nations GDP grew by 6.8 per cent in Q2, compared to the 7 per cent in the first quarter, according to economists’ data by Bloomberg.

On July 6 ICIS China said that the country’s crude processing is estimated to rise 2.5 percent over the next three months owing to reduced refinery maintenance.