China Imports Less Crude Oil in May – Trade War Effect?

Posted Monday, June 10, 2019 by
Arslan Butt • 1 min read

Has the Chinese economy started feeling the impact of Trump’s tariffs? In May, China’s crude oil imports fell by 8% after hitting a record high in April. One of the possible reasons behind this is China’s decision to halt imports of crude oil from Iran over the US sanctions.

According to data released by the General Administration of Customs, crude imports declined to 40.23 million tons in May, from 43.73 million tons in April. On a daily basis, this figure works out to 9.47 million bpd in May, down 11% since April.

In addition to curbs on Iranian oil imports, several leading state refineries closed down for regular overhauls last month, which could also have contributed to the decline in crude imports.

So far this year till May 2019, China’s crude imports have gone up to 205 million tons, 7.6% higher than they were during the corresponding time in 2018. Meanwhile, WTI continues to trade at over $53 per barrel at the start of the new trading week.

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