China’s Oil Imports Slump in May

China’s Oil Imports Slump in MayChina’s Oil Imports Slump in May

China’s crude oil imports dropped in May from a monthly record in April, as Chinese refiners drastically reduced Iranian oil imports after the end of the US waivers and as some state refineries were offline for planned maintenance.
According to data from China’s General Administration of Customs, Chinese crude oil imports fell by 8% from 43.73 million tons in April to 40.23 million tons in May, Oil Price reported.
In April, just before the waivers ended, China had stocked on Iranian crude oil. China imported around 800,000 bpd of crude from Iran in April—the highest amount that Iran’s top oil customer had purchased since August of 2018—as Chinese refiners rushed to buy Iranian oil ahead of the expiry of the US sanction waivers.
China is set to award crude oil import licenses to four independent refineries in eastern China, the ministry of commerce said in a statement Tuesday.
The license will enable those refineries to import crude directly, rather than asking other refineries to import on their behalf.
Those four refineries are Haike Ruilin Petrochemical, Chengda New Energy, Lianhe Petrochemical in eastern Shandong province, as well as Xinhai Petrochemical in neighboring Jiangsu province.
The latest approval will be the first for independent refineries this year, since the last 12 companies were approved in May 2018. The approvals will come after a public review, which could last until June 17.
Taking the latest approval for those four refineries into account, a total of 31 refineries will be granted the crude import licenses by the ministry since August 2015, allowing them to directly import crude.

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