Nigeria saw its share of China’s crude oil imports shrink by 7.5 per cent last year as the world’s largest energy consumer reduced its import of Nigerian crude to 10.56 million barrels.
China’s crude import from Nigeria stood at 11.41 million barrels in 2014, data obtained on Monday from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation showed.
The country bought crude from Nigeria in five months last year, compared to nine months in 2014.
It imported its largest volume of 3.9 million barrels in October; 2.85 million barrels in February; 949,721 barrels in March; 948,024 barrels in July, and 1.9 million barrels in December.
China’s import of Nigerian crude in 2014 only hit a high of 1.96 million barrels in January, according to the NNPC data.
Last year, the Asian country imported a record amount of crude last year as oil’s lowest annual average price in more than a decade spurred stockpiling and boosted demand from independent refiners.
China increased imports last year by 8.8 per cent to a record 334 million metric tons, or about 6.7 million barrels per day, according to preliminary data released by the Beijing-based General Administration of Customs in January.
The country had earlier this month said it was seeking more crude oil exports from Nigeria in spite of the recent changes in oil prices.
The Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria, Mr. Zao LingXiang, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
“In my opinion, it really doesn’t matter whether Iran comes back or not; Chinese companies want to import more crude oil from Nigeria,” LingXiang said.
He added that the current trade volume between both countries stood at $14.94bn in 2014, making Nigeria the third largest trade partner of China in Africa.
The economic counsellor added that Nigeria’s trade figure was 8.3 per cent of China’s total trade volume with Africa, and 42 per cent of the total between his country and Africa.