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            december 17, 2017

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1520: Central Europe

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LKW Walter

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Chinese July сrude imports lowest in 7 months


China’s crude imports eased to a seven-month low of 8.21 mmb/d in July as refiners absorbed the massive volumes bought over 1H 2017, drawing down swollen crude inventories. July crude imports were 4.5% lower than the 1H 2017 average of 8.6 mmb/d. According to the official Xinhua news agency, Chinese crude commercial stocks hit an 8-month high of 224.3 mmb at end-June which is indicative of the huge surplus. Heavy turnarounds and subsequently lower run rates at teapot refineries in July also contributed to the m-o-m drop in imports. Around 1.2 mmb/d of refining capacity in China was shut for maintenance in July (up by 15.6% m-o-m), leading to an expected drop in overall crude throughput and crude imports.
However, Chinese crude imports in July still saw y-o-y growth of 11.8% albeit lower than 1H 2017’s average of 14.9%. Y-o-y growth has been supported by rapidly falling domestic production and robust stockpiling demand as refiners take advantage of low crude prices. The start-up of new refining capacity (CNOOC’s expanded 200 kb/d Huizhou refinery and Petrochina’s grassroots 260 kb/d Yunnan refinery) is expected to support Chinese crude imports in Q4.
China’s total refined product exports hit a four-month high at 4.55 mmt in July, up by 8.3% m-o-m. The growth in Chinese product exports underpinned Asian Medium Range (MR) tanker rates in July, with average rates for the South Korea-Singapore route basis 40 kt up by 5.5% m-o-m to $330,000. The commissioning of new refining capacity discussed earlier as well as higher batch of fuel export quotas are expected to boost Chinese product exports over Q4.

Source: OFE – OceanFreightExchange

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