20 Sep

China’s Crude Oil Imports Hit a 2017 Low

WRITTEN BY Gordon Kristopher FEATURED IN Commodities

China’s crude oil imports 

China’s General Administration of Customs estimates that China’s crude oil imports fell by 180,000 bpd to 8 MMbpd (million barrels per day) in August 2017—compared to July 2017. Imports fell 2.2% month-over-month but rose 3.4% or by 270,000 bpd year-over-year. China’s crude oil imports are at the lowest level in eight months.

Imports fell due to fewer imports from China’s independent refiners. Some independent refiners were closed due to maintenance work from July 2017 to August 2017.

Any fall in China’s (FXI) crude oil imports is bearish for Brent and WTI crude oil (UWT) (SCO) (USO) prices. Lower imports from China have a negative impact on tanker rates. Lower tanker rates have a negative impact on oil tankers like DHT Holdings (DHT), Tsakos Energy Navigation (TNP), and Nordic American Tankers (NAT).

China’s Crude Oil Imports Hit a 2017 Low

China’s crude oil imports in the first eight months

China’s crude oil imports in the first eight months of 2017 are at 8.44 MMbpd—12.2% higher than the same period in 2016.

China’s crude oil imports are expected to rise in 2017 and 2018 due to a rise in the demand from Chinese teapot refiners. A fall in China’s crude oil production due to aging oil fields would also contribute to more imports.

China’s refined product exports

The rise in China’s crude oil imports led to the rise in its crude oil product exports. China’s crude oil product exports rose 1.1% to 4.6 million tonnes in August 2017—compared to July 2017. It’s 24% higher than the same period in 2016. The rise in crude oil product exports put pressure on the crude oil and products’ margin.

Impact

High Chinese crude oil imports would support crude oil prices.

To learn more about crude oil price forecasts, read Hedge Funds Are Turning Bearish on US Crude Oil.

Read Are US Crude Oil Supply and Demand Tightening? and How Major Oil Producers and the Dollar Are Driving Crude Prices for more on crude oil.

Read Are US Natural Gas Supply and Demand Rebalancing? for updates on natural gas.

Latest articles

Hibbett Sports (HIBB) stock surged 22.3% as of 1:54 PM ET today as the company reported impressive results for fiscal 2019's fourth quarter, which ended on February 2.

Wall Street analysts expect a potential upside of 21.63% for Alexion Pharmaceuticals based on the stock's closing price on March 21.

Today, we got another round of dismal data points from Europe (VGK)(EZU). According to a Markit survey, Germany’s (EWG) March PMI Composite Output Index fell to a 69-month low of 51.5.

On March 21, US crude oil’s implied volatility was 24.9%, which was 6.7% below its 15-day average. Usually, lower implied volatility supports oil prices.

The overall cannabis sector took a hit today amid the broader market's declines. The volatility index (VIX) jumped 17.9%, and the cannabis sector is more sensitive than the market.

The tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite Index (QQQ) is on track to post its 12th weekly gain in 13 weeks.