Kuwait’s crude oil exports to China surged 58.9 percent in December 2011 from a year earlier to 853,000 tons, equivalent to around 202,000 barrels per day (bpd), for the first gain in two months, latest official data showed.
Kuwait provided 3.9 percent of China’s total crude oil imports, compared to a 2.6 percent share in the same month of 2010 and 3.2 percent in November, according to the Chinese General Administration of Customs. Kuwait’s exports to China in the full year 2011 totaled 9.54 million tons (192,000 bpd).
China’s overall imports of crude oil in December grew 5.1 percent year-on-year to 5.19 million bpd. Saudi Arabia remained China’s top supplier with its shipments rising 9.6 percent from a year earlier to 1.12 million bpd, followed by Angola with 673,000 bpd, up 7.0 percent. Iran became third, with imports from the country surging 40.8 percent to 575,000 bpd.
Earlier this month, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) Chief Executive Officer Farouk Al-Zanki visited Beijing to enhance corporation’s relationship with major Chinese oil companies.
It was Al-Zanki’s first visit to China as CEO since assuming the post in 2010. Since the establishment of KPC Beijing Representative Office in 2005, Chinese refiners have significantly increased crude purchase from Kuwait.
Sales of Kuwaiti crude oil and petroleum products were just USD 400 million in 2004, but currently amounts to more than USD 10 billion, driven by robust crude shipments.
The Beijing office has also successfully developed new outlets for KPC products in the world’s largest energy consuming market, including naphtha, gas and sulfur.