China's crude oil imports for 2021 post first annual drop in 20 years

6 months ago 67

China's crude oil imports for 2021 fell 5.4% from 2020, its first annual decline since 2001, data showed on Friday, as Beijing clamped down on the refining sector to curb excess domestic fuel production while refiners drew down massive inventories.

December oil arrivals reached 46.14 million tonnes and posted the first year-on-year growth since April, as independent refiners rushed to utilise 2021 quotas, data from the General Administration of Chinese Customs showed.

That brought the whole of 2021 imports to 512.98 million tonnes, down from 2020's 542.39 million tonnes.

The drop compares with an average annual import growth rate of nearly 10% since 2015, China customs data showed.

The December influx, equivalent to about 10.87 million barrels per day, was the highest daily amount since March.

In contrast to 2020, when companies went on a massive stock building drive on decades-low oil prices and a rapid demand recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, refiners and traders last year drew down inventories amid higher prices and slower growth in fuel demand.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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