The first half of 2024 saw a decline in oil imports into Asia

LSEG data indicates that despite forecasts of a steady rise, crude oil imports into Asia experienced a modest dip in the year’s first half. Over the first half of the year, Asian oil consumers imported 27.16 million barrels per day, according to the figures. Compared to a year ago, this was 130,000 bpd less. Notably, last year saw a record high for oil imports into China roughly 11.28 million barrels per day.

China bought 11.08 million barrels of oil from abroad on average during the first half of this year, a noticeable, if not significant, decrease from the record set the previous year. Traders who were hoping for another robust year for Chinese oil imports and prices will undoubtedly become skeptical in light of this dip.

In contrast, India’s oil imports increased gradually over the first half of the year, reaching 5.1 million barrels per day as of May. As per a report by Reuters in April, there was a 5.6% increase from that. India imported 4.85 million barrels per day on average during the first half of the year.

The total drop in oil imports from Asia runs counter to predictions of increased demand in the largest regional market in the globe. For example, the International Energy Agency projects that this year’s global oil demand will increase by 960,000 barrels per day, with Asia accounting for about 900,000 of those barrels.

As to Reuters’ report, OPEC is, as usual, more optimistic, projecting that this year, Asia’s oil demand will rise by 1.3 million barrels per day, with 720,000 bpd coming from China. According to the most recent real import data, it would be challenging to achieve this kind of demand growth.

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