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Chinese Crude Imports in May Ease Back from Record Highs, Product Exports Rise


China’s crude oil imports in May dropped 409K b/d from record highs reached the month before to 9.23M b/d, according to customs data. The decline was partly attributed to some state refiners entering planned maintenance and independent plants forced to curb runs ahead of June’s Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Qingdao, Reuters reports. Despite the monthly drop, Chinese imports in May were still up 437K b/d y-o-y and 796K b/d higher from last year’s average.

Meanwhile, China’s refined products exports rose 1.01M tonnes m-o-m and 2.10M tonnes y-o-y to 6.13M tonnes in May. This is 1.77M tonnes higher than last year’s average. 

By mid-afternoon in London, ICE Brent was trading at $76.46/bbl, down $0.86/bbl from the end of Thursday’s trading day. The ICE Brent/WTI spread stood at $10.88/bbl, down 0.10$/bbl w-o-w, but still $5.48/bbl higher from the average year-to-date.