14 June 2013, News Wires – China’s daily imports of crude rebounded in September from the previous month to a fresh record, bearing out forecasts for the country to overtake the US as the world’s largest oil importer, as refineries restarted following maintenance.
Average imports of crude in September stood at 6.25 million barrels per day, up 28% on the year and topping the previous record of 6.15 million bpd set in July, Reuters reported.
Net imports of 6.23 million bpd show that China overtook the US in September as the world’s biggest net oil importer, a trend which the US Energy Information Administration said would continue through 2014.
In terms of monthly tonnage, September imports of 25.68 million tonnes was the second-highest on record after July, bringing total shipments in the first nine months to 211.3 million tonnes, up 5.4% from a year ago.
Traders have attributed the monthly gain to a slew of large refineries going online after completing scheduled maintenance.
“The recent upswing in China’s economic activity has significantly boosted import demand for oil and other commodities,” analyst Li Yan told Reuters.
“But there are now concerns on whether the recent improvement in the economy is going to fade.”
China’s export growth fizzled in September to post a surprise fall, data showed, a disappointing end to a recent run of indicators that had signalled the world’s second largest economy was gaining strength.
The Customs Administration said on Saturday China’s exports dropped 0.3% in September on the year, sharply confounding market expectations for a rise of 6%, and marking the worst performance in three months, according to Reuters.
Beijing has a growth target of 7.5% for 2013, which would be the weakest rate in more than 20 years, and has vowed to accept slower growth as it tries to reshape the economy so that it is driven by consumer demand, rather than investment, credit and exports.