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Meet the Chinese Newcomers Staking a Claim to Global Oil Trading

  • Teapots to handle about a fifth of China's 2016 oil imports
  • Plants boost refining rates as they get crude import licenses
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China is forecast to overtake the U.S. as the world’s biggest crude importer in 2016 and that’s largely thanks to a group of buyers who weren’t allowed to purchase foreign oil a year ago.

Record Chinese purchases have been a rare bright spot for global producers amid an oversupply that’s driven prices to the lowest in more than 11 years. The good news for oil bulls is that imports by the world’s largest commodities user are forecast to accelerate further this year, with the privately held refineries accounting for almost a fifth of the total, according to a Bloomberg survey of company officials.