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China’s May Crude Imports Dip

China’s May Crude Imports DipChina’s May Crude Imports Dip

China’s crude oil imports dropped in May from the record high in April, as some major refineries started planned maintenance and as China ordered some independent refiners to reduce operating rates this month ahead of a regional summit in the port city Qingdao in the eastern Shandong Province. Crude oil imports averaged 9.2 million bpd in May, according to Reuters calculations on data released by China’s General Administration of Customs on Friday. The import volume last month was off the all-time high of 9.6 million bpd set in April, when independent refiners—the so-called teapots—shipped backlogged cargoes and bought more oil on the back of steady refining margins. The Chinese imports in May 2018 grew by nearly 5% from the same month last year, when China had imported 8.76 million bpd. But exports were off the record highs in April, because the refineries Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical, Sinopec Yangzi and PetroChina’s Dalian and Jilin were slated to undergo regular major maintenance between April and May.

 

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