A 47-Month Low For Oil Imports


  • H1 crude inflows fall 3% on year to 10.23 mil b/d.
  • June oil product exports hit 3.2 mil mt, five-year low.
  • H1 net exports drop 58%.

According to data released on July 13 by the General Administration of Customs, China’s crude oil imports in June decreased to a 47-month low of 8.75 million b/d, terminating a recovery that had started in March as reported by S&P Global.

Destocking activities 

The previous low was 8.52 million b/d in July 2018, GAC data showed.

The volume in June was down 11% year on year and 19% month on month and was lower than the estimates of most analysts, who had expected a fall amid destocking activities.

Platts Analytics had an estimated 9.24 million b/d.

Independent refineries lifted their crude imports by 3.1% month on month to 2.52 million b/d in June, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights data.

According to Kpler shipping data, China’s crude stocks stood at an 11-month high of 945 million barrels in May, accounting for 63% of the country’s crude storage capacity that Kpler monitors.


Oil products exports in June fell 2% month on month to 3.21 million mt, the lowest since 3.04 million mt in January 2017, GAC data showed.

That came as the government issued 4.5 million mt of export quotas in May/June for gasoline, gasoil and jet fuel, leaving 7.15 million mt of quotas for June onward until another round of 5 million mt of quota was released in early July.

“It suggests Chinese oil firms’ cautiousness in using the quotas despite exporting margins are stronger than domestic sales margin, and they are more likely to keep the exporting pace in rest of the year,” a Beijing-based analyst said.

GAC’s oil product import and export data is believed to include a basket of oil products, with gasoline, gasoil, jet fuel and fuel oil as the key products.

China also cut its oil product imports in the first half of the year to 11.6 million mt, down 7.1% year on year.

As a result, net exports dropped 58% in the first half of the year.

China’s oil trade data (million mt):

June 2022 June 2021 Change May 2022 Change
Crude imports 35.82 40.14 -10.8% 45.83 -21.8%
Oil product imports 1.64 2.14 -23.2% 2.01 -18.5%
Oil product exports 3.21 6.44 -50.2% 3.27 -2.0%
Net oil prod exports 1.57 4.31 -63.6% 1.26 24.3%


H1 2022 H1 2021 Change
Crude imports 252.52 260.55 -3.1%
Oil product imports 11.62 12.51 -7.1%
Oil product exports 21.62 36.44 -40.7%
Net oil prod exports 10.00 23.93 -58.2%


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Source: S&P Global


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