Growing Asian Oil Demand Could Drain The Supply Glut
In terms of regional markets, the Asian one - where energy demand growth is expected to drive global oil demand growth for at least a decade or two - has been showing increased crude oil imports over the past three months. Asian buyers now have plenty of choice – OPEC’s output cuts have resulted in a lower premium of the Brent benchmark over the Oman/Dubai grade, which has made shipping crude oil to Asia from as far as North Europe profitable.
The oil imports statistics of China, India and Japan in recent months suggest that they are increasing the pace of their crude imports.Last month, China’s crude oil imports reached their second-highest level ever, as buys of foreign crude were prompted by strong demand from the independent Chinese refiners, the so-called ‘teapots’. The February imports of 8.286 million bpd, up 3.5 percent annually, were only second to this past December all-time high imports of 8.57 million bpd. China’s January imports were also above the 8-million-bpd mark, at 8.01 million bpd.