Several sources familiar with the matter revealed on June 10 that Saudi Aramco will reduce crude oil supplies to China in July, according to the Observer.
Saudi National Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), the world’s largest oil company, has now notified at least five refineries in North Asia (four of which are located in China) that the company’s actual crude oil supply for July will be lower than the contracted amount. Saudi Aramco has not yet responded to the matter.
Reuters and Bloomberg analyzed that, on the one hand, China has increased its purchases of discounted oil from Russia after the Russia-Ukraine conflict; on the other hand, demand for Saudi Aramco crude is climbing as Europe and some Asian countries are reducing their imports of Russian crude under U.S. pressure.
Asia will pay $6.50 more
Several people familiar with the matter said Saudi Aramco intends to meet demand from other buyers in Europe and Asia. They revealed that countries such as Japan, South Korea and Thailand will receive the volume of crude they demand, and some of them will even receive additional supplies. In addition, at least three European refineries have also received their full contracted supply for July. After announcing the ban on Russian energy, the U.S. then pulled together its allies to implement a ban on Russian oil. Finally, on June 2, the European Union officially approved the sixth round of sanctions against Russia, which will ban the purchase of Russian oil and its refined products by sea for six to eight months after the sanctions become law. In stark contrast to European and some Asian buyers scrambling to find alternative energy sources, China and India are increasing their purchases of Russian crude. Bloomberg reported in May that this was “a not-to-be-missed opportunity for some Asian countries to get heavily discounted oil. The latest statistics from international financial data agency S&P Global show that European customers are boycotting purchases of Russian Urals crude after the Russia-Ukraine conflict, while India is buying in bulk at deep discounts, making it the biggest international buyer of Russian oil in April. China and Russia have not commented on the matter, but China’s National Development and Reform Commission has issued a statement saying that, in order to properly respond to the impact of international geopolitical conflicts that have led to a surge in international oil and gas prices on China, it is organizing relevant enterprises to vigorously enhance domestic oil and gas exploration and development, organize resource imports and maintain the safe and stable operation of refineries. Shortly before that, Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal Ibrahim said in a media interview that China is a “very important customer” and that Saudi Arabia is committed to becoming a reliable energy supplier to China, and that the two countries are exploring opportunities for cooperation in areas such as infrastructure, logistics and manufacturing. It is worth mentioning that Reuters reported that Saudi Aramco recently raised the price of crude oil exports to Asia and Europe in July. Among other things, Saudi Aramco raised the price of its benchmark Arabian Light crude to Asian buyers by $2.10 per barrel.This means that in July, Asian consumers paid $6.50 more for the company's crude oil than the average of the Omani and Dubai benchmark prices at the time.
Oil prices in China may continue to rise next week
China is one of the world’s leading producers of crude oil. According to the 2021 CNPC Energy Statistics, China’s annual oil production is the sixth largest oil producer in the world after the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Kuwait; however, China’s oil consumption accounts for 16.2% of the world’s total oil consumption, second only to the United States at 18.2%, making it the second largest oil consumer in the world.
Due to the huge consumption demand, China’s external dependence on oil has remained at about 70% in recent years, which means that about 70% of domestic oil demand needs to be met by imports. This also determines the price of domestic petroleum products, which cannot be separated from the price movements of the international market.
Brent crude oil futures are currently at around $120 per barrel. The latest data from the international statistics website statista shows that the price of Russian Urals crude oil remained at around $78.80 per barrel in May.
According to the 21st Century Business Herald，Not surprisingly, the price of refined oil products in China will continue to reach a new record high next week.
According to the data monitored by the commodity information agency Goldlink, the current retail price limit of refined oil products in China has broken through a new high, and it is expected that at 24:00 on June 14, the retail price limit of gasoline and diesel in China will also increase by more than 300 yuan/ton, continuing to set a new record high. Finished oil prices continue to rise, chemical raw materials will also rise further. According to the Business News Service price monitoring, 2022 23rd week (6.6-6.10) commodity prices rose and fell in the chemical sector ring up a total of 47 kinds of commodities, of which a total of 11 kinds of commodities up more than 5%, accounting for 10.1% of the number of commodities monitored in the sector.The top 3 rising commodities were toluene (12.50%), mixed xylene (11.92%), and crude benzene (8.20%).