China is set to become the largest importer of oil this year

By Catherine Sturman

China is fast becoming the largest importer of oil globally, overtaking the US and fully surpassing market expectations.

This year, China has averaged 8.55 million barrels per day, Reuters reported, creating increased competition within Asia’s economy, with exports of gasoline and diesel also set to increase. It highlights the country’s ever growing focus on its energy consumption.

Unipec, a Chinese state-run oil trader, has become the largest oil trader globally.

 "China is putting a lot of pressure on the traditional export hubs of Taiwan, Korea and Singapore to capture the market share within Southeast Asia and Australia," said Joe Willis, Senior Research Analyst, Asia refining, at energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie.

The country has cut interest rates yet again to guarantee economic growth, being a current net porter of petrochemicals. Growing population levels across Asia are also increasing the number of cars on the road, with increased traffic congestion.

Chinese diesel shipments to France have also doubled, quadrupled to Italy and the country shipped diesel to Kenya for the first time this year, according to Reuters.

In a recent presentation from Sinopec, China is now planning to amass nearly 3 million bpd of refining capacity through its 2020 vision. China National Offshore Oil Corp are also expanding its production in its current facilities.

Original source: Reuters

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