Separately, satellite imaging and reports from analysts cited by Bloomberg have revealed that China’s crude oil inventories were beginning to decline after hitting a record in April. This has sparked optimism about demand revival in the key oil market.
“The combination of inventories falling and strong imports implies really solid refining activity,” an analyst from data tracking company Ursa Space Systems told Bloomberg earlier this month. “You saw them build aggressively in late February and into the end of March, and since then they’ve absolutely plateaued and have come off a bit.”
Yet the crisis seems to have alerted Chinese authorities to the finite nature of storage tanks and spurred them into action to expand capacity to secure reserves over the longer term.