According to the latest trade data published by China’s General Administration of Customs, China’s crude oil imports in December eased from a record set a month earlier, however, 2019’s oil imports rose nearly 10% on an annualized basis, as cited by Reuters.
“December arrivals were 45.76 million tonnes. That was equivalent to 10.78 million barrels per day (bpd) according to Reuters’ calculations based on the data, second only to the high of 11.13 million bpd touched in November.
For all of 2019, the world’s top crude oil buyer imported 506 million tonnes, or 10.12 million bpd, some 9.5% above 2018’s level.
December imports were boosted by private refiners rushing to use up import quotas they were granted for the whole year, while state plants stocked up on oil before the holiday shutdown that accompanies China’s Lunar New Year festival, which falls in late January this year.”
Meanwhile, oil prices fail to take advantage of upbeat trade numbers from China, as they remain in multi-week troughs amid receding US-Iran war risks. Markets also ignored the US-China trade deal hopes induced risk-on trading profile.
WTI trades around the 58 handle while Brent holds steady just ahead of the 64 level.