Gulf News

China to buy US oil af­ter Xi-Trump truce

Sinopec’s trad­ing arm to re­sume ship­ments by March 1, 2019 when 90-day win­dow closes

- Fuel · Oil · Stocks & Markets · Financial Markets · Finance · Business · Industries · Energy · China · United States of America · Donald Trump · G20 · Asia · Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries · Beijing · Oil Prices · Sinopec

Chi­nese oil trader Unipec plans to re­sume US crude ship­ments to China by March af­ter the Xi-Trump deal at the G20 meet­ing re­duced the risk of tar­iffs be­ing im­posed on these im­ports, three sources have said.

The sources said Unipec — the trad­ing arm of state re­finer Sinopec — is look­ing to im­port US oil by March 1, which marks the end of a 90day ne­go­ti­at­ing pe­riod agreed by the lead­ers of the world’s two big­gest economies.

China’s crude oil im­ports from the United States ground to a halt in Oc­to­ber as this year’s trade war be­tween the two coun­tries es­ca­lated.

“Chi­nese buy­ers who want to buy US crude will rush to im­port the oil dur­ing this win­dow,” a se­nior ex­ec­u­tive from Asia’s largest re­finer Sinopec said, adding that the oil has to ar­rive in China be­fore March 1.

‘Makes eco­nomic sense’

“Oil prices are low, so it makes eco­nomic sense to store some crude as com­mer­cial in­ven­to­ries,” said the ex­ec­u­tive, who asked not to be named.

Sinopec said it has a pol­icy not to com­ment on spe­cific trade deals. Unipec did not re­spond to an email.

Oil prices have slumped by around a third since early Oc­to­ber amid an emerg­ing glut, trig­ger­ing ex­pec­ta­tions that the Or­gan­i­sa­tion of Pe­tro­leum Ex­port­ing Coun­tries (Opec) will agree to sup­ply cuts at a meet­ing this week.

It was un­clear how much oil Unipec — China’s largest crude oil im­porter — would or­der from the US, but one of the sources said the com­pany could lift a record vol­ume of oil in Jan­uary.

China’s pre­vi­ous record for a month came in Jan­uary 2018, when it im­ported about 472,000 bar­rels per day (bpd) from the US, ac­cord­ing to Chi­nese cus­toms data.

Be­fore the trade dis­pute erupted in mid-2018, China had be­come the largest im­porter of US crude. China im­ported on av­er­age 325,000 bpd of US crude in the first nine months of 2018 be­fore im­ports fell to zero in Oc­to­ber, cus­toms data shows.

Although crude oil was not in­cluded on Bei­jing’s im­port tar­iff list, Chi­nese buy­ers started avoid­ing US oil from mid-2018. US-based trade and ship­ping sources said Unipec is back in the mar­ket, look­ing to buy US crude and book ships for China.

Unipec may have char­tered VLCC Man­ifa to load US oil this month, one of the sources said. An­other said the com­pany has pro­vi­sion­ally booked a VLCC to load US oil in Jan­uary and make the 45-50-day voy­age to China for $8.4 mil­lion.

Oil prices have slumped by around a third since early Oc­to­ber amid an emerg­ing glut, trig­ger­ing ex­pec­ta­tions that Opec will agree to sup­ply cuts at a meet­ing this week.

 ?? Cour­tesy: Ma­jid Al Fut­taim ?? Car­refour has launched what it calls the world’s first ‘sail thru’ su­per­mar­ket, tar­get­ing yachts and wa­ter­sport en­thu­si­asts. The Ma­jid Al Fut­taim-owned su­per­mar­ket chain will op­er­ate three cus­tom-built float­ing shops at Kite Beach, Jumeirah Pub­lic Beach and Al Su­fouh Beach. Cus­tomers would be able to pur­chase goods such as hot and cold snacks, ice cream, fresh food and bev­er­ages, in ad­di­tion to non-food items like sun­screen and medicine.
Cour­tesy: Ma­jid Al Fut­taim Car­refour has launched what it calls the world’s first ‘sail thru’ su­per­mar­ket, tar­get­ing yachts and wa­ter­sport en­thu­si­asts. The Ma­jid Al Fut­taim-owned su­per­mar­ket chain will op­er­ate three cus­tom-built float­ing shops at Kite Beach, Jumeirah Pub­lic Beach and Al Su­fouh Beach. Cus­tomers would be able to pur­chase goods such as hot and cold snacks, ice cream, fresh food and bev­er­ages, in ad­di­tion to non-food items like sun­screen and medicine.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE