China's June crude oil imports rise to 2nd straight monthly record

Andrew Cummings
July 15, 2020

Trade turnover between the two countries reached $8.19 billion in June alone, with China delivering $3.98 billion worth of products to Russian Federation, and the latter sending $4.2 billion worth of exports to China.

"Demand for Chinese exports is improving in key markets like the U.S. and European Union as lockdowns are being eased and consumer spending rebounds", IHS Markit Ltd chief Asia-Pacific economist Rajiv Biswas said.

China's iron ore imports jumped 17% in June from the May total to hit the highest level since October 2017 according to customs data released overnight.

"The reopening of major western economies and elevated overseas demand for PPEs (personal protective equipment) and masks supported Chinese exports in June", said Boyang Xue, a China analyst at Ducker Frontier.

China's customs data beat expectations of decline on Tuesday, showing that exports and imports grew significantly in June.

Exports also rose unexpectedly, up 0.5 per cent, suggesting global demand is starting to pick up again as many countries begin to ease tough anti-virus measures that have pushed the world's economy into its biggest slump in nearly 90 years. Exports in dollar terms through the end of June were 6.2 per cent smaller than in 2019, while imports were 7.1 per cent lower.

The world's second-biggest economy imported the most oil ever last month as a long line of vessels carrying cheap oil waits to offload shipments at already-swollen storage tanks.

For the first half of 2020, China imported a total of 268.75 million tonnes of crude oil, data showed, equivalent to 10.78 million bpd, up 9.9% from the same period a year ago.

In the first half of this year, exports of textile products, including face masks, surged by 32.4 percent in yuan terms.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he was not thinking about negotiating a "Phase 2" trade deal with China as relations between Washington and Beijing have been "severely damaged" due to the coronavirus pandemic and other issues.

Driven by the stay-at-home economy springing up amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the exports of laptops and mobile phones went up by 9.1 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. "There are signs that overall global trade is stabilizing and we expect exports to recover more decisively later in (the second half) alongside the global economy", Louis Kuijs, head of Asia economics at research firm Oxford Economics Ltd., wrote in a note.

-With assistance from Tomoko Sato, Yinan Zhao and Lin Zhu.

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