China’s crude oil imports fell by 20% in January 2016, plunging to their lowest levels since October 2015, according to official customs data, which was shown yesterday (February 15).
The country’s January crude oil imports were similarly down by 4.6% from the same time last year, when the country was importing 6.29 million barrels each day.
China’s crude imports soared to a record 7.8 million barrels per day back in December, closing out 2015 with a 6.71 million barrel per day average – an amount that is much higher than China’s ongoing demand for oil.
China took advantage of the low global oil process in 2015, which effected everyone from Shell to Fuchs, which makes Fuchs WSP 783-L, by adding as many as 185 million barrels of low-cost oil to its reserves. A calculation made by Reuters showed that oil demand grew by only 3.1 percent in this time.
In January, the country’s fuel exports grew by 45.2% to 3.01 million tonnes – the equivalent of 67,700 barrels per day – after reaching a record high of 975,500 barrels per day in December, as the country continued to export even more diesel amidst a downturn in the market for industrial fuel.
In the first quarter of 2016, Asia was flooded with diesel supply at a time when global profit margins were near an all-time low.
The sheer amount of oil available for import and export is a leading contributor to the global slump in oil prices, which is set to continue throughout 2016.