China imported a new record of 10.12mn b/d of crude in 2019, up 884,000 b/d (9.6%) on the previous record set a year earlier and just fractionally below the record US import figure of 10.13mn b/d set in 2005 (MEES, 20 December 2019). The US imported just 6.79mn b/d in 2019, a 26-year low (MEES, 20 December).

Though growth in China’s oil imports has fallen each year since hitting a recent peak of 13.2% in 2018, larger overall volumes mean that the growth in overall terms has been steady at an average of around 850,000 b/d for the last four years (see charts). (CONTINUED - 239 WORDS)