China’s energy crisis in focus

Crude prices remained supported, with ICE Brent futures above 83 $/b for the Dec-21 delivery. The energy crisis in China is likely to prompt further imports from domestic refiners to rely increasingly on locally sourced energy consumption from refinery units through LPG burn, as Chinese coal futures are soaring markedly above last week’s prices due to flooded mines in a time of already low coal stocks. Yet, in September, crude oil imports remained poor, at 41.05 Mt, or 10 mb/d. This continues to be the weak link of the crude oil market, with independent refiners’ limited ability to import, and state-owned refineries cutting run rates due to regional lockdowns in August and September.

The decline in Japanese crude inventories halted last week, as stockpiles rose by 2.4 mb. Yet, middle distillate stocks dropped, ahead of a potentially tight winter, with kerosene being the only product building seasonally, as expected. Physical crude markets continue to trade regionally, with the Far East Sokol crude trading at a record premium, bought by Mercuria. West African markets remained lacklustre amid poor buying pressure from Asia and Europe.

Japanese commercial inventories

Energyscan oil news
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