Oil prices have risen to over $110 in the world markets and $103 for WTI.
It then follows that if the exporters had been exporting as usual that some of the other big importers would have experienced a significant rise in imports. Only it did not happen.
The first place to look would be China, then Japan (actually, Japan is a bigger net importer), India, Germany, the Netherlands, South Korea, France, Singapore, and Italy - in that order.
Hmmm... China's yoy increase for 2013 was 4%. The (alleged) missing Oil does not seem to show up in Japan. Maybe India? I can't tell as data is only updated to May, 2013. From the article:
The change in net fuel imports was driven almost entirely by higher exports, with outbound product shipments rising to about 570,000 bpd from 2012's 484,000 bpd, while product imports were largely steady.
Taken together, net crude and fuel imports last year were 5.83 million bpd, up about 160,000 bpd, or 2.8 percent, from 2012's 5.67 million bpd.
Germany imports are down, as are France and Italy (they are in Europe and Europe is having a h**l of a time). Netherlands, Singapore, and South Korea imports were flat using date that might be a bit old... but they just are not big enough to move the needle in any event.
So... did the exporters just export less Oil? If so, why? Prices are firm, well over $100 for Brent for 2013 and January 2014 so it isn't like "demand" (read: "desire". Demand can never exceed supply) was not there... or am I missing something? Look, if the U.S. cut its imports, either the exporters cut their exports or the other importers increased their imports. Its a zero sum game, and we are talking 500 million+ barrels here over the course of 2013. That's a lot of oil. $50 Billion smackers worth if Oil is $100.
The data for all of the other countries are not up to date, but the U.S. data is, and the U.S. imports fell nearly 2 million bpd from January to December. If the the exporters remained constant someone (some importer or importers) should have a bunch of oil/refined products in their storage facilities or some seriously increased total vehicle miles traveled internally.
What gives? Anybody?