China is top oil importer, UK natural gas prices hit 7-yr high

Oil trading updates: China overtakes US as leading importer.

Oil shift revealed

Oil trading, commodities, China

China’s oil imports continue to rise

China has overtaken the US as the world’s top importer of oil as the world’s second largest economy continues on its rapid expansion course.

US net oil imports fell to 5.98 million a day in December as China’s rose to above 6.1 million b/d.

“The US is taking strides towards energy independence,” said Eric G Lee, a commodities analyst at Citigroup.

Thanks to shale, US domestic production is booming, increasing by 800,000 b/d last year.

It comes as the IEA forecasts that emerging countries will consume 44.9m b/d next quarter, compared with 44.7m b/d for industrialised nations.

IW says: “But even China’s demand for oil will slow down as its economy hits the headwinds of the ongoing worldwide slowdown.”

Gas prices soar

Monday saw UK natural gas prices soar to a 7-year high, mainly thanks to supply problems in Norway, which Britain is increasingly relying on for imports.

Gas for same-day delivery was up more than 50% to 115 pence a therm, the highest price since 2006.

Commodities February roundup

The S&P GSCI was down 4.4% last month, pushing the YTD return into negative territory at -22 basis points, according to Commodities Now.

Uncertainty about the global economy and a stronger USD prompted the fall it seems.

Every commodity in the index posted a loss for the month except for the S&P GSCI Natural Gas and S&P GSCI Cotton indexes, which were up 2.4% and 1.5% respectively.

The S&P GSCI Gold was again down, extending its longest run of consecutively negative months since 1996.

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