Saudi Arabian crude exports to China fell in February, though the kingdom remained China’s top supplier, underscoring the oil giant’s determination to stay dominant in Asia despite global production cuts.
China’s imports of crude from Saudi Arabia fell 14% from a year earlier 4.7 million metric tons, roughly equal to 1.23 million barrels a day, according China’s General Administration of Customs. The volume represented a 5% decrease from January levels.
“This is not surprising because Saudi Arabia has decreased its output in order to comply with the production cutback agreement. This means as long as Saudi’s domestic consumption doesn’t fall drastically, it would have less to export,” said Nelson Wang, an energy analyst at CLSA.
China isn’t alone in receiving fewer barrels from the Saudis. U.S. data showed the kingdom’s crude exports to the U.S. for the week ended March 17 fell by 219,000 barrels compared with the first week in March.
Last year, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and a number of outside producers said they would cut their combined output by 1.8 million barrels a day in an attempt to pare back global inventories. The kingdom is shouldering a hefty part of the load by agreeing to trim output by 486,000 barrels a day before the pact expires in June.
OPEC’s latest data showed Saudi Arabia has actually taken a bigger cut than pledged by cutting 800,000 barrels a day so far since October.
Russia’s imports to China in February climbed 3.1% from a year earlier to 4.1 million tons, making it the second-largest crude seller to China.
China’s overall crude imports in February were steady from last year’s 31.78 million tons, or 8.3 million barrels a day. Cumulative volume in January and February rose 13% from a year earlier.
Exports of gasoline in February surged 77% from a year earlier to 1.1 million tons, while diesel exports also logged a 67% year-over-year increase to 1.3 million tons.
Source: MarketWatchPrevious Next