China’s stockpiling in government depots will contribute 55,000 b/d to imports in 2018, and 140,000 b/d in 2019, when the delayed Zhanjiang SPR depot starts. Hengli and Zhejiang Petrochemical will process Middle East crudes, driving up imports towards the end of 2018. Meanwhile, ESAI Energy expects at least a third round of export quotas in the second half of the year due to capacity additions.
As part of the fallout from the disruption of bitumen production in Alberta due to the Fort McMurray wild fire, Canada will require much less diluent from the U.S. The loss of at least 300,000 b/d of bitumen production that is not upgraded implies the elimination of nearly 100,000 b/d of diluent demand.