China imported 9.54mn b/d of crude for August, up from June and July’s figures of 8.77mn b/d and 8.83mn b/d – the two lowest figures since 2018 – but almost 1mn b/d down on the August 2021 figure of 10.52mn b/d. Average import volumes of 9.96mn b/d for the first eight months of 2022 are down 5% year on year and some 900,000 b/d below the record annual figure of 10.86mn b/d set in 2020.

That year saw a massive 123mn barrel (340,000 b/d) stock build according figures from data intelligence firm Kpler. In contrast Kpler’s end-August Chinese stocks figure of 915mn barrels is down 36mn barrels on the end-2020 figure (CONTINUED - 294 WORDS)