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Asia’s Crude Oil Imports are expected to Increase due to SPR Uncertainties

Asia’s Crude oil imports are anticipated to have risen to their highest level this year in November, owing to pre-winter buying by major consumers and broad concern among buying nations about high prices.According to Refinitiv Oil Research, the world’s top-consuming region imported 26.35 ML BPD in November, up from 22.55 ML BPD in October.

For most of the year, Asia’s Crude imports have trailed behind the dominant global narrative of recovering demand and constrained market supply, with both factors affecting North America and Europe more.However, a hurry to secure gasoline supplies ahead of the northern winter spurred Asian refiners to acquire extra oil for November delivery, with all major importing nations likely to increase deliveries.

China, the world’s largest crude customer, is forecast to import 10.47 million barrels per day in November, up from 8.9 million barrels per day in October, the lowest level since September 2018.However, there are several elements at work that raise the issue of whether China’s robust November imports were a one-time blip or the start of a new boom.

Imports are expected to have increased as a result of the government providing fresh quotas to certain independent refiners, which were to be utilized by the end of the year.This resulted in a deluge of purchases from major refiners, particularly of Russian ESPO crude, which drove spot prices for the grade to their highest since January 2020.The ESPO premium over Dubai crude ESPO-DUB hit $6.35 per barrel on Nov. 16, having risen from a low of 1.90USD on Aug. 17.

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