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China has been by far the largest single buyer of US crude so far this year, whilst for LNG it is second only to South Korea.
Some 427,000 b/d of US crude headed for China in May, second only to last October’s record 448,000 b/d. Volumes were also buoyant in June. But they slid in July as Chinese state buyers cut back on purchases under the threat that Beijing was mulling a swingeing 25% tariff on US crude.
The US imposed 25% tariffs on a range of Chinese goods, active from 23 August. Chinese planned retailiatory tariffs would be effective from the same day – so cargos of tariffed US goods loading from late July could be hit.
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