Chinese state oil giant Sinopec has committed to buying record levels of US crude oil this year, sources told Reuters, as part of a wider effort to reduce the two countries’ trade imbalance.
Sinopec bought 16 million barrels of U.S. crude to load in June – 533,000 barrels a day – which will be the biggest ever monthly volume lifted by the company through its trading arm Unipec. This intake would cost around $1.1 billion at today’s prices and marks a sizeable step up from the current average intake of 330,000 barrels a day.
Alongside agriculture, the US has made energy exports a key sales target as it tries to cut its trade surplus with China. Despite surging oil and natural gas production, infrastructure bottlenecks and price uncertainties place caps on how much more the US can practically export in the short term.