Exports from the GCC countries to China rose to $7.1 billion in October from a yearly low of $4.9 billion in August, marking a 45.6 percent increase in just one quarter, Kuwait China Investment Company (KCIC), which specializes in emerging Asia investments, said in a report.
Growth expectations in the Chinese economy show a strong correlation with its imports of energy, it added.
The Purchasing Manager Index (PMI), a leading indicator of Chinese GDP growth, is also an accurate predictor of oil imports from the GCC. For the most part of this year, global growth eased, including China's, the economic powerhouse that led the global recovery between 2009 and 2010, said Camille Accad, economist at KCIC.
About 4.9 percent of China's total imports came from the Gulf in October, up from its August trough of 3.2 percent, tracking PMI closely. This week, the HSBC Flash PMI confirmed the ongoing recovery, as it grew for a third consecutive month, from 50.4 to 50.9 in December, (a reading above 50 indicates expansion).
KCIC report said it suggests that China's demand for energy and other commodities will increase as well, which in turn will boost oil imports from the GCC.
Forty percent of global oil comes from the 12 Opec countries. Its four GCC countries (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar) account for about half of Opec's total supply – 20 percent of global oil supplies. The graph shows the percentage that imports from these four countries represent as a share of total imports in China.
The Saudi Gazette