China’s June Crude Imports Help the Crude Tanker Industry
China’s import and export data
China’s total exports rose 11.3% YoY (year-over-year) in June 2017, which was higher than May’s rise of 8.7%. In June, China’s imports rose 17.5% YoY, which was higher than May’s rise of 14.8% YoY. June’s imports and exports were higher than Reuters’ forecast.
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June’s crude oil imports
In June, China was the world’s top crude oil importer. However, crude imports were lower compared to the previous month. In June, crude oil imports totaled 36.11 million tons—down from 37.2 million tons in May 2017. In June, China’s crude imports were 17.9% higher YoY. On a daily basis, China imported 8.70 MMbpd (million barrels per day).
Crude imports in 1H17
In 1H17, China—the world’s second-highest crude oil importer and consumer—imported 212 million tons. Its imports were 18.8% higher than the same period last year. On a daily basis, China imported 8.55 MMbpd from January to June 2017.
Crude imports in 2H17
In 2H17, China’s (FXI) crude oil imports could increase more. In the last month, China approved the second round of oil import quotas for independent refineries and state-owned refineries.
China’s crude imports
China imports most of its crude oil by sea—by crude oil tankers. Typically, higher crude oil imports mean higher crude oil tanker demand. Higher crude tanker demand translates to higher rates for very large crude carriers and Suezmax vessels.
Higher tanker rates benefit crude tanker companies such as DHT Holdings (DHT), Frontline (FRO), Teekay Tankers (TNK), Tsakos Energy Navigation (TNP), Nordic American Tankers (NAT), Navios Maritime Midstream Partners (NAP), Gener8 Maritime (GNRT), and Euronav (EURN).
In the next part of this series, we’ll take a look at China’s broader economic health.