Brazilian Crude Import Boom Expected in China

 

Chinese oil refineries, led by heavyweight Sinopec, are set to boost Brazilian crude imports in the third quarter, according to industry sources.

China, the world’s top crude importer, has booked nearly one million barrels per day (bpd) of Brazilian crude for August and September delivery, traders quoted by Reuters said. Of this, 20 million barrels were purchased by Unipec, an arm of top Asian refiner Sinopec.

The volumes are significantly higher than the average in the first five months of the year, when China imported 3.02 million metric tonnes of Brazilian crude, or 729,125 bpd, Chinese customs data showed. Sinopec did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

China cutting oil shipments from Angola and Brazil

The increase in Brazilian crude purchases comes as Chinese refiners cut volumes from Saudi Arabia, its second-biggest oil supplier, which has hiked most of its crude prices for July and August after volunteering to cut more output.

China slashed crude imports from Brazil in 2022, when the Ukraine crisis broke out, as it gobbled up cheap Russian oil. China’s imports from Brazil plunged 17.7 per cent to 498,571 bpd in 2022 from 2021, customs data showed.

Now, spot premiums for Brazilian grades such as Tupi have firmed on Chinese demand.

Brazilian oil sales to China and India sink

Tupi, a medium sweet crude, is traded at about USD 3.50 a barrel over dated Brent on a delivered basis to China for September-arrival cargoes, about USD 0.50 to US$0.70 higher than the August price, the trading sources said.

 

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