China's crude imports rose 19.9% on the year to 10.91 million b/d in December 2021, data from the General Administration of Customs showed Jan. 14, as independent refineries tried to use up new crude import quotas allocated in November.
The imports in December were up 6.8% from November and represented a second continuous month-on-month recovery from the 39-month low of 8.94 million b/d seen in October.
The country's total crude imports averaged 10.3 million b/d in 2021, falling 5.4% year on year amid destocking activities.
The GAC releases data in metric tons, which S&P Global Platts converts to barrels using a 7.33 conversion factor.
On a metric tons basis, crude inflows in December 2021 rose 10.4% month on month to 46.14 million mt. Import volumes for the whole year stood at 512.98 million mt.
China exported 3.23 million mt of oil products in December, a fall of 45.3% year on year to a 17-month low, GAC data showed, as oil companies ran out of export quotas.
In 2021, the oil product outflow volume declined 2.4% to 60.31 million mt as the reduction in gasoline, gasoil and jet fuel exceeded the increase in bonded bunker fuel oil supplies.
As a result, China's net oil product exports fell 1.1% to 33.18 million mt in 2021.
China's preliminary oil trade data (million mt)
Source: General Administration of Customs