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China’s March Data and the Crude Tanker Industry

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Dec. 4 2020, Updated 10:53 a.m. ET

China releases March data

China has released its key economic data for March 2017, including its export-import data, auto sales data, and manufacturing index. This information is crucial for assessing the outlook of the crude oil tanker industry.

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China and the crude oil tanker industry

China, the second-largest economy in the world, is a key player in the crude oil tanker industry. One of the world’s largest importers of crude oil, it imports most of its oil by sea, on crude tankers. Therefore, China’s imports are very important to the crude oil tanker industry as they influence tanker rates greatly. Also, China (FXI) (MCHI) is a global manufacturing hub and the largest manufacturing economy in the world. Its oil demand is closely related to its manufacturing activities. Higher manufacturing activity translates to higher demand for oil, and higher demand for oil means higher tanker demand.

Series overview

In this series, we’ll take a close look at China’s March 2017 import-export data and manufacturing sector performance. We’ll also review how China’s auto industry performed in March, as the country’s oil demand is closely related to its gasoline usage. Over the years, China’s auto industry has risen to become the largest in the world.

In many ways, China is the most important country for the crude oil tanker industry. Companies in the industry include Frontline (FRO), Teekay Tankers (TNK), Tsakos Energy Navigation (TNP), Nordic American Tankers (NAT), DHT Holdings (DHT), Gener8 Maritime (GNRT), Navios Maritime Midstream Partners (NAP), and Euronav (EURN). In the next part of this series, we’ll take a closer look at China’s import-export data.

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