Last month, Beijing announced that crude oil imports surged to 9.61 million barrels a day last month, noting the amount is the highest on record.
It was the independent refiners, that drove the increase as they seek to fulfill their import quotas before they expire.
Beijing announced it will raise the oil import quota by 42% for its non-state refiners, most of which are the independent refiners, for 2019 as new refinery capacity is planned to enter into operation next year.
This served to dampen worries about a possible decline in demand, but only temporarily: now OPEC and Russia are once again talking about cutting production because of expectations of excessive supply.
China is changing its sources of crude. The country sharply reduced its intake of US crude, for example, as the trade war between Washington and Beijing escalated this summer. A few months ago, Chinese refiners stopped buying US oil completely in anticipation of tariffs on it.
Chinese refiners have also been importing a lot of Canadian oil relative to their usual intake of this particular oil. With the discount of Western Canadian Select to West Texas Intermediate at historic lows making the Canadian blends particularly attractive for Chinese bargain hunter.
RT.om / ABC Canada Flash Point News 2018.