(Yicai Global) May 16 -- China’s daily average crude oil imports reached a record high of 1.3 million tons, or about 9.7 million barrels, last month, driven by growing oil demand in the country.
Daily average crude oil processing reached its second-highest level of record for the month, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement, adding that natural gas imports have now maintained a growth rate of above 30 percent for seven consecutive months.
China imported some 39.5 million tons of crude oil in April, up 14.7 percent annually and up 14.1 percentage points on growth from the month before.
The country also processed 49.6 million tons of crude oil in April, an increase of 11.5 percent compared to the same month last year and representing a fourth straight month of growth. Daily average processing reached 1.7 million tons in April, setting the second highest level on record, second only to March this year when the average 9,000 tons higher.
As large petrochemical companies are suspending production and conducting maintenance, demand for imports will generally be restrained during the period, but the data indicates that China’s crude oil demand is beating expectations.
International crude prices have continued to rise due to geopolitical factors. The Brent price was USD75.92 per barrel, up USD6.90 per barrel from the month before as of April 30.
China’s crude oil demand accounts for one-tenth of the world’s total demand and one-third in Asia alone, said Ma Yongsheng, deputy general manager at China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., during China’s 2018 Two Sessions, the annual assemblies of China's top legislative and political advisory bodies, in March. China’s oil import dependence has reached nearly 70 percent, he added.
Editor: William Clegg