China is filling its strategic petroleum reserves five times faster than last year.
by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
A dramatic build-up in China’s strategic petroleum reserve and surging demand for imported crude oil are likely to transform the global energy markets this year, regardless of any production freeze agreed by OPEC and Russia this weekend.
Chinese credit stimulus and a 20pc rise in public spending has set off a fresh mini-cycle of growth that is already sucking in oil imports at a much faster pace than expected.
Barclays estimates that the country will import an average of 8m barrels per day (b/d) this year, a huge jump from 6.7m b/d last year. This is arguably enough to soak up a big chunk of the excess supply currently flooding global markets.