Three cargoes of US crude are being transported to China from the US Gulf Coast, according to Reuters. The cargoes represent the first departures since late September and a 90-day halt of trade between the two countries that began on December.
Specifically, the three cargoes departed from Gaveston, Texas the previous month and are to arrive at Chinese ports between the end of January and early March. The shipments highlight a change as Chinese buyers decided not to purchase US oil during the trade dispute between the two countries.
Also, China is the biggest crude oil importer globally and became the top purchaser of U.S. crude after Washington lifted a 40-year ban on shipments in late 2015. The country imported 325.000 barrels per day of US crude the first nine months during 2018, as stated by Reuters.
China’s 25 % tariff on U.S. soybean cargoes remains in place. Beijing has also resumed purchases of some U.S. soybeans for delivery this year.
Moreover, Alboran, the supertanker is carrying approximately 2 million barrels of oil and recently passed South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope and is expected to arrive in China late this month.
Two other vessels, Almi Atlas and the Manifa, are carrying 2 million barrels of crude, and are expected to reach China in late February or early March. The two ships are currently located off Brazil.
As China reduced Us crude imports, more American oil flowed into neighboring Asian countries, including India, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. U.S. exports climbed to 2.33 million bpd in October, up from 2.2 million bpd in June.