As we expected, China’s crude imports came down to 9.5 million b/d in May. In the next few months, crude imports should stay below 10 million b/d given more refinery maintenance and already high inventory levels.
Gulf Times: A change in ship fuel that seemed like a sure profit churner for sophisticated refiners a year ago isn’t a clear winner now. When the International Maritime Organisation imposed clean-fuel rules for ships starting in 2020, the popular outlook was that thicker, dirtier crude would plummet in price, as it yields more of the high-sulphur fuel oil that can’t be burned unless ships have special equipment to scrub their emissions. Diesel prices would surge as vessel owners use it as a substitute.