Caixin
Dec 16, 2021 05:18 AM
ECONOMY

Covid Controls and Pollution Curbs Stunt China's Oil Demand

China’s crude imports in January 2022 are expected to be marginally higher than a year earlier but will soften toward the end of the quarter
China’s crude imports in January 2022 are expected to be marginally higher than a year earlier but will soften toward the end of the quarter

(Bloomberg) — China, the world’s biggest buyer of crude, is set to start 2022 with a subdued appetite for oil. For that, you can blame — or thank — Beijing’s increasingly tough line on the virus, pollution and rule breakers.

The winter months are usually the time when refiners buy crude to replenish inventories, particularly ahead of holiday trips over the Lunar New Year period. But uncertainty over the severity of the new omicron variant and China’s unwillingness to live with the virus continue to impede travel plans.

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