China’s crude imports remained depressed at 9.76mn b/d for July, the first time since mid-2019 that China has seen four straight months of sub-10mn b/d imports. June was slightly higher at 9.81mn b/d, whilst May’s 9.69mn b/d was the lowest this year.

The recent dip has come as Beijing has made it more difficult for the country’s independent refiners to import crude by banning the resale of import quotas. Reuters reports that throughput rates in the independent refining hub of Shandong have fallen to 63%, the lowest this year. (CONTINUED - 186 WORDS)