MOSCOW (MRC) -- China's crude oil imports surged 34.4% year on year to all-time high of 12.99 million b/d or 53.18 million mt in June as Chinese buyers who rushed into the market to secure cheap crudes in late March received their deliveries in the month, reported S&P Global with reference to preliminary General Administration of Customs data as of July 14.
It was the first time China's monthly crude imports had surpassed 12 million b/d, and was 14.6% higher than the previous record high of 11.34 million b/d in May, GAC data showed.
The record-high inflow was within expectations, but has caused serious congestion in China waters, S&P Global Platts has reported.
The record June volume brought imports for the first half of 2020 to 10.82 million b/d, up 9.3% on year, despite inflow hitting an eight-month low of 9.72 million b/d in March amid the coronavirus pandemic, the data showed.
GAC releases data in metric tons, which Platts converts to barrels using a 7.33 conversion factor.
For oil products, China's exports fell further to a 16-month low of 3.88 million mt in June from 3.89 million mt in May after hitting a fresh record high of 8 million mt in April, GAC data showed. Exports were last lower at 3.81 million mt in February 2019.
Product exports over January-June rose 3.8% on year to 33.76 million mt, the data showed.
Meanwhile, China's oil product imports edged up 0.7% on year to 16.9 million mt in H1. As a result, China's net oil product exports rose 7.1% on year to 16.86 million mt in the period, the GAC data showed.
As MRC wrote earlier, Chinese independent refineries' June crude imports edged down 0.5% to 4.4 million b/d, or 18 million mt, in June from the record high of 4.42 million b/d in May as Zhejiang Petroleum & Chemical could only manage to take in half of its feedstock tanker arrivals due to port congestion. ZPC received about 2.85 million mt of crude arrivals in June, according to market information collected by S&P Global Platts on July 3.
We remind that Zhejiang Petrochemical Co Ltd started up its ethylene cracker in late December, 2019. Based in Zhejiang, China, the cracker is able to produce 1.4 million tons/year of ethylene.
Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 595,170 tonnes in the first five month of 2020, up by 10% year on year. Deliveries of all ethylene polymers, except for linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), rose partially because of an increase in capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market was 457,930 tonnes in January-May 2020 (calculated by the formula production minus export plus import). Deliveris of exclusively PP random copolymer increased.