BIMCO: 41.5% of Chinese crude oil imports came from the Middle East in August
BIMCO’s Shipping Number Of the Week:
41.5% of Chinese crude oil imports came from the Middle East in August
Chinese crude oil imports have fallen to a four-month low in August to 47.5 million tonnes from this summer’s high levels. Despite the fall, August imports are still higher than any month since the oil price war sent imports up in May, June and July.
In addition, the share of imports from different regions around the world has returned to more ‘normal’ levels since the oil price war shake-up. The share of imports from the Middle East rose to more than half of total imports (52.5% in May). In August, China’s crude oil imports from the Middle East stood at 41.5%, more in line with the 2019 average, during which 44.2% of total Chinese crude oil imports came from the region.
“Following the shock of the oil price war, Chinese crude oil imports are showing signs of normalising and returning to their more usual trade patterns. This means owners are again operating in a more familiar pattern, although still with higher uncertainty given the continuing pandemic. The return to normal also brings about lower tonne mile demand, adding to owners’ woes as demand falls,” says Peter Sand, BIMCO’s Chief Shipping Analyst.
The share of crude oil imports from the US has risen, following many months of zero or close to zero volumes. Imports from the US by China rose to 3.7 million tonnes in July (7.1% of total crude oil imports) but fell to 2.2 million tonnes in August (4.7%).