January 16, 2024 [Reuters]- Chinese refiners are actively booking crude oil cargoes for delivery in March and April to replenish stocks, locking-in relatively low prices and in anticipation of stronger demand in the second half of 2024, trade sources said.
Robust demand from the world’s top crude importer is underpinning spot premiums for Middle East crude exports even as Asian refiners plan seasonal maintenance for the second quarter that typically reduces the region’s oil demand.
“This has worked wonders for them last year and this year it seems to have an even better delineation between a weaker H1 and a stronger H2.”
China’s crude stocks fell to 933-951 million barrels last week, data compiled by analytic firms Vortexa and Kpler showed, after refiners ramped up crude processing in the fourth quarter.
DECLINING INVENTORY FOR SINOPEC
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