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China SPR fill could help rebalance market, support oil prices: analyst

China's continued filling of its strategic crude reserves could give support to current depressed oil prices and help rebalance the global market, Bernstein Research suggested in a new report issued Wednesday.

China's continued filling of its strategic crude reserves could give support to current depressed oil prices and help rebalance the global market, Bernstein Research suggested in a new report issued Wednesday.

While China's oil demand growth has been weak this year, its crude imports have surprised to the upside, with inflows rising 8.3% over the first nine months of the year to an average 6.14 million b/d. This has outpaced the 5.3% growth seen over the same period of 2013.

This year has been the strongest year of crude oil import growth in China since 2010, according to Bernstein.

"The key factor that explains such discrepancy could be China's filling of SPR [strategic petroleum reserves], which could further accelerate given the low oil prices and elevated geopolitical risk," Bernstein said.

platts.com
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