China is the world's most populous country and has a rapidly growing economy. In 2017, China became the world's largest crude oil importer and consumed 11.67 million barrels per day. Some analysts forecasted that China's oil consumption will continue growing through 2018 to 12.05 million barrels per day. According to Global Economic Prospects 2018 published by the World Bank in January 2018, China's real GDP is expected to continue to grow at a moderate pace, above the world's average GDP growth rate in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Although there is a general belief that the growth in China slows down gradually, the government policies to support the economy will raise oil product demand.
In addition, oil trading in China is characterized by high entry barriers for several reasons, including 1) high capital requirements; 2) difficulty in forging relationships with major PRC oil suppliers and customers; and 3) difficulty in negotiating and managing profitable oil products contracts on a recurring basis.