China steps up speed of oil stockpiling as tensions mount in Asia…(War Preps?)

Monday, May 19, 2014
By Paul Martin

Beijing has ordered an “unprecedented” build up of oil reserves as West prepares for possible oil sanctions against Russia.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
TelegraphUK
18 May 2014

China is stockpiling oil for its strategic petroleum reserve at a record pace, intervening on a scale large enough to send a powerful pulse through the world crude market.

The move comes as tensions mount in the South China Sea, and the West prepares possible oil sanctions against Russia over the crisis in Eastern Ukraine. Analysts believe China is quietly building up buffers against a possible spike in oil prices or disruptions in supply.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its latest monthly report that China imported 6.81m barrels a day in April, an all-time high. This is raising eyebrows since China’s economy has been slowing for months, with slump conditions in the steel industry and a sharp downturn in new construction.

The agency estimates that 1.4m b/d was funnelled into China’s fast-expanding network of storage facilities, deeming it “an unprecedented build”. Shipments were heavily concentrated at Chinese ports nearest the new reserve basins at Tianjin and Huangdao. “We think this is a big deal,” said one official.

China accounts for 40pc of all growth in world oil demand, so any serious boost to its strategic reserves tightens the global supply almost instantly and pushes up the spot price.

The Rest…HERE

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