China’s fuel oil imports have tumbled 30% in the first two months of the year and are running at about half their peak two years ago, as fuel tax hikes crimp energy use and squeeze refiners’ profits.
Chinese customs data this week showed that fuel oil imports fell to 2.86 million tonnes for January and February combined, from 4.06 million tonnes a year earlier. Analysts typically look at Chinese data for January and February together as those months are often distorted by the Lunar New Year holiday, which can fall in either month. Average monthly imports for the past 12 months, at 1.37 million tonnes, are barely half the monthly peak of 2.71 million in January 2013. Click here to read more.