China overtakes the US as world's largest crude oil importer
China’s crude imports rose to a record high as a new Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) site became operational and refineries prepare to process more oil. Net oil product exports also rose to a near record.
China imported 8.1 million bbl/day of crude oil in September and exported about 14.9 million bbl/day of fuel, not far from the record 15.7 million bbl/day exported in July.
Some have speculated that the country will continue to ramp up exports of refined products as domestic consumption remains weaker than expected. Chinese oil imports are up 18% year/year as the country continues its aggressive stockpiling while oil prices are relatively low.
China has now overtaken the US as the world's largest crude oil importer. The US imported 7.98 million bbl/day in September.
China's National Bureau of Statistics also reported the country holds about 234 million barrels in its SPR.