Article related to China’s huge trade balance results today:

  • China’s imports of major industrial resources rose to record levels in January
  • Imports of crude oil, iron ore and copper posted all-time-high monthly volumes for the first month of the year
  • Shipments of crude reached 28.16 million metric tons in January, equivalent to 6.66 million barrels a day. That is up 12% from a year ago and 5% from last month, which was also when the last record was posted.
  • The unusually large magnitude led at least one analyst to suspect an opportunistic stockpile purchase:

“It’s not so easy for refineries to absorb such a sudden large influx of imports, so it’s more likely that the crude purchase went straight from ships into storage,” said Li Li, research director at consulting firm ICIS C1 Energy. Ms. Li said a commercial buyer in the city of Tianjin may have been behind the imports, rather than state strategic buyers.

More at Wall Street Journal