Energy analytics service provider OilX estimates that China’s crude oil imports in March fell 8.81 percent from the previous month to 11.26 million barrels per day. China last month.
Various reports have said in recent weeks that China has significantly increased its crude oil imports from Iran – so much so that ports in Shandong province, where most of the independent refineries are based, are experiencing tanker traffic congestion.
By some estimates, China produced about 856,000 bpd in March, or even closer to 1 million bpd of Iranian crude oil, more than double its February level.
“There has been a lot of talk in the market that Iranian crude oil exports are sneaking into China. We believe the reported flows do not match our estimate of Iranian exports and reductions in Iranian floating storage facilities, “OilX analysts Juan Carlos Rodriguez and Valantis Markogiannakis wrote on Tuesday.
OilX analysts “believe the long-term implications of the strategic partnership announced last week between the two countries and the ongoing nuclear talks are much more important,” they added.
Thus, according to OilX estimates, China’s imports in March fell to 11.26 million barrels per day, which is 14.45 percent more than in March last year, when China was in isolation at the beginning of the pandemic.
In addition, crude oil flows to China currently remain flat in April, according to OilX Research.
An estimate of March crude oil flows to China showed that imports from the Middle East, excluding Iran, fell the most in just a month, with the largest declines in imports from Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Imports from the North Sea and Brazil, on the other hand, grew the most, according to OilX.
From year to year, China’s crude oil imports increased the most from the US, Norway and the UK. Imports from Norway and the UK hit record highs, according to OilX, thanks to increased purchases of oil from the Forties and Johan Sverdrup fields.
Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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