CHINA: THE TOP BUYER ANEW
REUTERS - China's crude oil imports rebounded to the second highest on record in May, making China the world's top buyer for the month amid concerns over tightening crude supply to Asia and an extension of producer cuts to March next year.
China imported 37.2 million tonnes or 8.76 million barrels per day of crude oil last month, up 15 percent from a year earlier and nearly 8 percent from April, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.
Imports compared with average shipments to the United States in May of 8.12 million bpd, according to Reuters calculations based on EIA weekly data.
The robust May shipments reflected steady demand from private refiners, Li Yan, a crude oil analyst with Zibo Longzhong Information Group said.
"China's May crude imports were mainly driven by purchases from some Shandong-based independent refineries that had sent China's crude imports to record high in March. In the first five months, we are seeing a steady pace of buying from these 'teapot' refineries which reported good profit margins," Li said.
For the year to end-May, crude imports rose more than 13 percent from a year earlier to 176.3 million tonnes or 8.52 million bpd, the customs data showed.
However, private refiners are expected to tighten their intake for at least the next two months, analysts and traders said, ambushed by a rising local fuel glut.
Imports by the world's second-biggest oil consumer had slipped from a peak of 9.2 million bpd in March to 8.4 million bpd in April.
China's exports of refined products rose 6 percent in May to 4.03 million tonnes as state refiners sold more abraod in a bid to counter a domestic oversupply.
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REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 72 cents at $61.49 per barrel at 1020 GMT, having fallen by 1.5 percent on Tuesday, its largest one-day drop in a month. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $55.12 per barrel, down 58 cents.
BLOOMBERG - Prices dropped during the session as the International Energy Agency said the recent recovery in oil prices, coupled with milder-than-normal winter weather, is slowing demand growth. The worsening outlook for consumption dampened some of the enthusiasm that OPEC and its allies will extend supply curbs.
Global energy needs rise more slowly than in the past but still expand by 30% between today and 2040. This is the equivalent of adding another China and India to today’s global demand.
Product exports have grown significantly over the past several years and are expected to continue to grow as Russian refineries add capacity to produce more high-quality products.