China’s crude imports exponentially increased last month to an all-time high of 11.34 million barrels per day (mmbbl/d), a 15% rise from April’s levels and 160,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) higher than the previous record set in November 2019, according to Bloomberg.
Shipping data indicates that China could import more than 14 million barrels a day in June, according to Sean Tan, an analyst with commodity research firm Kpler. In addition, 190 oil supertankers further are expected to arrive in China this month, according to Tan.
Chinese fuel consumption has rebounded to pre-coronavirus levels as people opt to take private means of transportation instead of public transportation. Jet fuel demand remains low, however, due to the closure of international flights.
With the rise in consumption, processors have cranked up run rates, with independent refiners in Shandong province operating near record levels since the beginning of May.
These record figures underline China’s recovery from the pandemic, however it is expected that these figures are slightly skewed due to China taking advantage of the low oil prices in order to fill its strategic reserves.