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China’s crude oil, natural gas and coal imports fell in 2022

According to the Chinese General Administration of Customs, China's crude oil imports fell by 0.9% to 508.28 Mt (10.17 mb/d) in 2022 (from 513 Mt in 2021). Crude oil imports fell for the second year in a row in 2022 despite rising purchases in the fourth quarter (+4% more crude oil year on year at 48.07 Mt in December 2022, or about 11.3 mb/d). Chinese crude oil imports had hit a record high of 10.8 mb/d in 2020.

China's natural gas imports also fell, by 9.9% to 109.25 Mt in 2022 (121.26 Mt in 2021). LNG imports dropped by 19% to 64.13 Mt in 2022 (79.3 Mt in 2021). Similarly, China’s coal imports fell 9.2% to 293.2 Mt in 2022 (335 Mt in 2021).

In addition, China’s annual fuel exports in 2022 (including gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel and marine fuel oil) remained 11% below 2021 at 53.69 Mt, due to steep reductions in overseas shipments earlier in 2022. However, they reached 7.7 Mt in December, the highest since April 2020 and up from 6.14 Mt in November.