The Asian market has moved into a state of cautious expectation. Although October is still only halfway through, one can state with a great degree of certainty that this month’s aggregate crude imports are going to be some 5-6 million tons lower than September 2020 (when the entire continent imported 98 million tons). The tapering of demand is not restricted to specific regions, every single major crude importer – be it China, Japan or India – seems to be opting for lower refinery rates and less purchases. Although it might sound frightening, less crude imports might not necessarily be a negative trend, for instance China might finally digest the incredible amount of crude it stockpiled around its refiners, in fact October might resolve its fabled port congestion issues. All this, however, puts the Middle Eastern crude producers in a difficult position of trying to bridge increasing production with lower […]