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China Runs Down Oil Stockpiles as Market Eyes Big Export Quotas

  • Refiners and traders have applied for an extra 15 million tons
  • Refining activity has been holding near pandemic-era lows

China has begun running down its crude oil stockpiles, which could signal that refiners are getting ready to boost fuel exports as part of the government’s efforts to revive the economy.  

Onshore crude inventories stood at 909 million barrels as of Sept. 15, the lowest since May 12, according to Emma Li, an analyst with Vortexa Ltd. About 1 million barrels a day has been drawn from stockpiles over the past three weeks, she said. Satellite data firm Ursa Space Systems puts the figure at 1.05 billion barrels, down 7.5 million barrels from the prior week, and the fourth weekly draw in five, according to analyst Geoffrey Craig.