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China January Oil Imports Rise To Record

Tyler Durden's picture


Say what you will about the tenets of Chinese economic slowdown assumptions and what not (despite inflation obviously continuing to be a rather pesky issue), at least its steadfast determination to have the world's largest crude oil stockpile is an ethos. At 23.4k metric tons of imports in January, China just imported the most crude in its history, despite the traditionally slow period around the Chinese new year. The trendline is unmissable - at this rate China will become the world's largest importer of Crude in a few short years, surpassing the US easily with its 28K metric tons of imports in a couple of years. Oh, and anyone who thinks that China will volunteer to lose Iran as a primary source of crude imports as its oil is "liberated" by Western powers as the country is obviously en route to having the world's largest crude stockpile (as to why this may be the case, read here), we have a bridge to Isfahan to sell you.


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Fri, 02/10/2012 - 09:48 | 2145388 battle axe
battle axe's picture

And we are about to hit one of the countries that they import the most from. That should make them really happy....So much for the Treas market...

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:25 | 2145551 WhiteNight123129
WhiteNight123129's picture

China can dump Treasuries and at teh same time issue international traded Yuan bond to plug the hole. As simple as that, If I were part of the US authority or 100%, I would consider trying to find ways to buy Yuan (there are) as a diversification. Just because we have been used to be forced to use only one type of currency (fiat), does not mean that those can not co-exist. In Hong-Kong you can save in paper non fiat (HKD) and paper fiat (all the rest) and also in Gold if you trust the counterparty. No one forces contract to be settled in one unique currency in Hong-Kong. This is the true capitalist survivor paradise of no central bank and no  lender of last ressource, Hong Kong rocks!


Fri, 02/10/2012 - 11:04 | 2145742 battle axe
battle axe's picture

Hong-Kong rocks as long as the Party allows it to rock, if they change their mind, not so much Rock'n and a Roll'n.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 11:36 | 2145865 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

triadz 4 life, bitchez

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 11:37 | 2145879 Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

How is the HKD, pegged to the USD, a non-fiat currency?

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 11:47 | 2145925 Archduke
Archduke's picture

makes sense to get rid of those excess USD.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 09:49 | 2145392 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture



What % was paid for in something other than US FRNs?

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:07 | 2145464 He_Who Carried ...
He_Who Carried The Sun's picture

Well, well - what do we have here now and who beat the drum lately about a China-hard-landing which was supposed to be incredible bullish for PMs?


Of course, I forgot, China is just buying Oil because her industrial production and overall economy is slowing down soo hard, they urgently need to grease it, right? Right?

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 09:52 | 2145396 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

That's because they are making reserves for an Iran war. Also... Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:02 | 2145445 High_Pockets
High_Pockets's picture

shut the f*ck up, Walter.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:18 | 2145509 Dr. Kenneth Noi...
Dr. Kenneth Noisewater's picture

Excuse me?  Maam?  The Supreme Court has ROUNDLY REJECTED PRIOR RESTRAINT!!!


I'm drinkin' my coffee!


Enjoying my coffee...

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 12:17 | 2146035 Ragnar24
Ragnar24's picture

Agreed. The caveat though is that China has to put its worthless dollars somewhere now that it isn't financing US deficits anymore. I'd say they're just killing two birds with one stone by stockpiling war matériel and hedging against dollar debasement by acquiring hard assets (with this particular asset conveniently better at mobilizing tanks and rockets than the yellow metal).

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 09:49 | 2145397 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

Hello Mexico.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 09:50 | 2145403 swissaustrian
swissaustrian's picture

Iranian oil exports to China are DOWN in january. India was Iran's biggest customer according to PressTV...

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 09:51 | 2145408 swissaustrian
Fri, 02/10/2012 - 09:54 | 2145415 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Is the equivalent of DEBKA?

Just saying...

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:03 | 2145447 swissaustrian
swissaustrian's picture

Yes it's a mouthpiece of the Iranian gov.

But the US doesn't have an independent msm either...

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:39 | 2145624 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

So what IS a reliable news source, Francis?

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 11:15 | 2145777 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture


Valid question... And my BEST answer is 'Probably NONE'...

Consider that Reuters is a Rothschild rag, & they own AP & there are only 6 major news outlets...

I don't fucking trust ANY of them...

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 11:22 | 2145805 swissaustrian
swissaustrian's picture

From a theoretical point of view, the best way to "understand" how the media works is this

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 09:54 | 2145418 niktamere
niktamere's picture

Wow you just cited Iranian media

Got a CNN link instead, bubba?

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:01 | 2145441 swissaustrian
swissaustrian's picture

Why should they deliberately underreport oil exports to China? Isn't in their own interest.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:04 | 2145451 niktamere
niktamere's picture

given everyone's chinese hardon, maybe their plan is to show is they dont completely depend on China for survival

food 5 thought

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:04 | 2145455 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

The point is... Anything of this nature (which includes MOST media ANYWHERE) is highly unlikely to be a reliable source...

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:07 | 2145463 niktamere
niktamere's picture

hence my CNN comment ;)

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:35 | 2145597 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

the comment was directed at 'swiss', it happened to fall under yours...

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:41 | 2145631 niktamere
niktamere's picture

dont flatter yourself

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 11:12 | 2145762 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

WTF is your problem???

I was responding to 'swiss'(not you)... Look at the timestamps of the comments... both 9:04... Your comment wasn't even published yet... So I simply replied to inform you of that... End of story (or so it seemed)...

Did u wake up on the wrong side of bed this morning?

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:40 | 2145628 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Ok so then dont pay any attention to any of it then.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 11:21 | 2145795 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

That's too simplistic...

I didn't say the NEWS was wrong... I'm referring to the fact that you have to sift thru what's reported and allow it to pass the smell test...

- Some news is probably factual

- Some is slanted & biased

- Some is probably patently false

It doesn't mean that you should dismiss everything... Just because a person folds a pokert hand, doesn't mean that the hand is finished... You still need to pay attention to see who is lying & who isn't...

It shouldn't be too hard to understand the logic in that...

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 09:50 | 2145404 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

At current rates, available net exports will vanish in about 10 years or so...

Available net exports are defined as Global Net Exports minus the share taken by Chindia...

Ain't peak oil a blast!

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 09:52 | 2145413 cossack55
cossack55's picture

I'm lovin' it, baby.  Whats the chances of 30000 solar-powered drones.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:01 | 2145440 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Pretty good, I know somone at Aberdeen working on just that.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:06 | 2145459 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

I thought at Aberdeen they basically just like to play around with blowing shit up...

If so... UH OH!

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:18 | 2145513 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Brits have just launched their 360 MW wind farm in Irish sea.

and now this  just been commissioned:

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:36 | 2145605 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

it'll be a saltwater lashed rustbucket in 15 years... Beyond repair...

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 11:15 | 2145776 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Much easier to refurbish than a nuclear plant or refinery; if the pay out is good, its not a problem. These units are easy to dismantle. The key is grid price parity to evaluate pay out. And if oil stays up...and Chindia devours all...we'll need alternative back ups in energy hungry, resource deficient Euroland; like the Chinese need women for their one child population which is male dominated. They say we will reach grid price parity for both solar and wind in five to ten years. Its the experience-volume curve.

Step change does have a price to it. So does energy independence in increasingly dangerous and divided world. We are heading there fast. 

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 11:25 | 2145823 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture


Go tell it to the operators of San Gorgonio pass (A PERFECTLY ARID LOCATION) & Altamont Pass...

Look ~ I'm not against small scale invidivual wind harvesting, but these WIND FARM operations are for the birds... Or ~ AGAINST the birds (migratory) as the case may be...

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:00 | 2145437 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

I have to claim a mea culpa.... I spoke too quickly and incorrectly... available net exports will be cut in 1/2 in ~10 years.


So everybody can just sit back and relax... it was a false alarm.... 


Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:05 | 2145454 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Oh the good life when we had one wife and many cars; now we will share the cars and flog the wife to earn her life, and if lucky, ours as well. I'm all for female emancipation of third type : she's free but she pays for me! 

Man, I think I'm ripe to join Madoff in Sing-Sing, where we know whats what; not like here in this free world where we can't tell deal on from deal off! 

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 09:52 | 2145412 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Well this ought to make 'Timmeh' re-double his STRONG DOLLAR POLICY efforts... (/s>

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 09:55 | 2145420 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

Bullish for smog.

Or has China reverse-engineered Unleaded?

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 09:55 | 2145421 youngman
youngman's picture

They import and store a lot of it.....for the future...commodities no way

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 09:56 | 2145425 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Oh, and anyone who thinks that China will volunteer to lose Iran as a primary source of crude imports as its oil is "liberated" by Western powers as the country is obviously en route to having the world's largest crude stockpile (as to why this may be the case, read here), we have a bridge to Isfahan to sell you.

And what they gonna do about it??? The only thing they will do is arm the resistance in Iran through Pakistan and only that. Then the US will continue their drone strikes on Pakistan.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:04 | 2145456 mc_LDN
mc_LDN's picture

Errr hardly. The Pakistand defence minister was on record as saying if the US dare attack Iran all bets are off. Remember they have nukes sunshine.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:44 | 2145647 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Yeah right. The source of that was a ``european politician in Pakistan``... probably some pissed off general saying that off the record to an ambassador. It's total bunk.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:06 | 2145460 deKevelioc
deKevelioc's picture

Sure about that?  I'll raise you another three million lives.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:44 | 2145651 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Why only 3 million lives? If Iran is attacked, especially if China joins in, it's gonna be more than that.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:02 | 2145448 mc_LDN
mc_LDN's picture

So we have China stockpiling Oil and Rare Earths and we have the Banksters (sorry - USA) stockpiling Industrial Metals in Warehouses.


Sounds like we have two sides battening down the hatches for something ahead. If one was to run a war what would that war machine require?

This one has disaster written all over it.


Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:39 | 2145625 BeerBrewer09
BeerBrewer09's picture

China is stockpiling everything and is even purchasing mineral rights all over the world. They understand commodities and what it will do for them in the near future.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:03 | 2145450 chinaguy
chinaguy's picture

Just because they are buying it doesn't mean they are using it.

This looks more like the Party is realizing that the world's CBs are still in "debasement mode" & they are trying to move a tiny sliver of their cash reserves into physical commodities.

They have massive storage capacity, not begun to be filled.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:06 | 2145457 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Santelli ripped Chilton a new one today on the CFCT's failure to act on MF Global.  Rick even called the banks "Blueblood Firms". 

Fuckin' A!

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:08 | 2145465 ekm
ekm's picture


I knew China was not consuming crude oil that much but I didn't know they were stockpiling. The more they stockpile the low the crude price will drop at next financial crisis quite soon to occur.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:09 | 2145468 mc_LDN
mc_LDN's picture

This gets more interesting by the minute. Now we have Indonesia considering Barter with Iran. Whats that - no US Dollar you say? Banksters wont be happy. Time to sort those upstart Indonesians out befoee anyone else gets ideas. better yet  - take out Iran first and no-one will be able to barter. Eat fiat - and bow down bitchez!!!

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:12 | 2145474 ziggy59
ziggy59's picture

West is hoping to evaporate and vaporize those distillates in Iran

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:12 | 2145475 Gromit
Gromit's picture


What has happened to Mike Pettis over there in Beijing?

Showing "Account Suspended"

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:17 | 2145501 ekm
ekm's picture

Wow. Thx for pointing it out.

I have lived in communism, buddy. I know what it is like. I was surprised they let him talk openly thus far.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:14 | 2145483 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Well... Time's a wastin...

Got this pesky thing of the 2012 elections in the way... Until then I'm afraid it might be all bailing wire and spit...

& for the record... I come down on the OPPOSITE side of what the banksters want (& all that implies)...

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:17 | 2145502 non_anon
non_anon's picture

peak oil, bitchez!

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:31 | 2145572 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Luckily we have rainicorn piss to mitigate that!

(Rainbow + Unicorn = Rainicorn)

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:25 | 2145543 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

Tyler, where in the heck are Chinas strategic crude reserves?

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:29 | 2145562 kralizec
kralizec's picture

Good question.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:38 | 2145613 ekm
ekm's picture

Top secret. I've tried to find out from different internet resources, but nobody knows.

I suspect it's not big at all. They may be maxed out by now. Ready for the attack on Iran.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:42 | 2145640 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture



It's like the DJ that asks (with a Cheech Marin accent) the the caller in...

'Where u callin' from man'...

Caller: "From Anytown"

Cheech: 'No you not... You callin from the PHONE'

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:49 | 2145677 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

That was funny. +1

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:47 | 2145658 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

In 2007 China announced an expansion of their crude reserves into a two part system. Chinese reserves would consist of a government-controlled strategic reserve complemented by mandated commercial reserves.[1] The government-controlled reserves are being completed in three phases. Phase one consisted of a 101.9 million barrel reserve, mostly completed by the end of 2008. The second phase of the government-controlled reserves with an additional 170 million barrels will be completed by 2011.[2] Recently, Zhang Guobao the head of the National Energy Administration also stated that there will be a third phase that will expand reserves by 204 million barrels with the goal of increasing China's SPR to 90 days of supply by 2020.[3]

At the link there are the locations. They have about (right now) 136 million barrels of oil in reserves.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:59 | 2145703 kralizec
kralizec's picture

Interesting, mostly in coastal areas with the newer facilities going deeper inland.

ETA - Still about 500+ million barrels behind the US SPR.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 11:09 | 2145758 ekm
ekm's picture

Take this with a sack of salt.

Communism propaganda.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 11:56 | 2145957 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

So you are saying they have MORE oil than they say?

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:32 | 2145578 scatterbrains
scatterbrains's picture

When things get bad enough, hungry enough, do you know where your local area crude pipeline is ?

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:37 | 2145607 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Thats right, anyone who thinks China just sits by as deadbeat Western Debtors take over Chinas oil in Iran, theyre crazy.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:38 | 2145615 RSDallas
RSDallas's picture

Could they be stockpiling in anticipation of a military conflict?

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:50 | 2145678 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

War with China by 2013 at this rate.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:59 | 2145723 ekm
ekm's picture

Every panic last year was preceded by 8-10% drop in crude oil in one day. It happened twice in 2011 as far as I remember.

It's getting close.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 11:31 | 2145844 pragmatic hobo
pragmatic hobo's picture

perhaps China is buying up crude in anticipation of Iran getting whacked and Crude price going ballistic in response. Then they can turn around and sell crude to Japanese and Koreans for profit. Sure beats buying up US treasuries at near top of the market or heaven forbid the euro-trach Merkozy wants to dump on Chinese.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 11:48 | 2145933 LaughingMan
LaughingMan's picture

Anyone here think that they are stockpiling due to the inevitable Iran war.




Forgot to say...




Fri, 02/10/2012 - 13:40 | 2146519 Elvis is Alive
Elvis is Alive's picture

Interesting in that EIA said that Chinese consumption has been down the last three months. For the EIA to be right, that means China is stocking up on oil.

As for China importing more oil than the U.S., I hope that becomes the case. Given how cheap natural gas is here, we should be using that instead of oil for transportation. There is a good chance in five years we don't import any oil from the Middle East, only from countries in the Americas. Wouldn't that be nice?

But I wouldn't count on China sitting tight and just handing money to the Arabs. China has increased oil production from 4 mbpd to 4.4 mbpd in the last two years. And they have 50% more shale natural gas than we do:

And they have been drilling:

Quite frankly, I have been really pissed at the red tape this country has with regards to natural gas engines. You can convert a car from gasoline to natural gas for $1000 in Mexico and Brazil but it costs $10,000 here thanks to the EPA.

I bet China gets the number down to $500 or less and gets natural gas production ramped up even faster than we did. We have a natural gas glut a few years after shale driling really got going. I suspect China can get production going even faster. If they do, my guess is that they import LESS oil five years from now than today.

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 14:05 | 2146685 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Pop Quiz:

1) Does the USA import or export NG on a net basis?

2) Current daily US NG production corresponds to how many bbls of oil on a BTU basis?

3) If there is a 100 year supply of NG (at current consumption rates), how long will is last if you increase usage at 3% annual rate? 5%?

4) One expects that peak production is reached once 1/2 of the resource is when might you expect NG production to peak given a 3% growth rate?? 5%?? 

For reference NG production is growing currently at a 3.4% rate since 2008 or so...


If you are really serious about understanding NG, I suggest these 2 recent articles

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 14:35 | 2193494 littleguy
littleguy's picture

Oh FFS, I wish the Chinese would stop buying fucking oil and eating pizzas. It's making my outgoings go through the roof.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 16:42 | 2194037 RacerX
RacerX's picture

all ur crudez are belong to us

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