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Was China’s December PMI Data Positive for Crude Tankers?

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China’s December PMI

In December 2017, China’s manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers’ index) was 51.6. The PMI fell from 51.8 in October, which indicates that China’s manufacturing sector expanded at a slower pace. The PMI shows a country’s economic health.

The index remained above 50 for the 17th consecutive month. A reading above 50 indicates an expansion, while a reading below 50 indicates a contraction. December’s reading was at par with the annual average. It shows strong resilience in China’s growth. The sub-indexes for production and new orders also dropped from the previous month to 54.3 and 53.6—still well above the 50 mark.

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December Caixin PMI

The Caixin manufacturing PMI shows the outlook for small and private manufacturers, while the official PMI gives more weight to large state-owned companies. The Caixin PMI for December 2017 was 51.5—it rose slightly from 50.8 last month. It has been above 50 for seven consecutive months.

Oil demand

Manufacturing activities drive the oil demand. As the manufacturing industry expands, the demand for oil increases and vice versa. An increase in oil demand benefits the crude oil tanker industry. Some of the major crude oil tanker companies are Nordic American Tankers (NAT), Euronav (EURN), General Maritime Partners (GNRT), Tsakos Energy Navigation (TNP), and Navios Maritime Midstream Partners (NAP).

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