China and the US have been running neck and neck as the world’s top crude importer in the first nine months of 2016: China imported 7.7mn b/d and the US 7.8mn b/d.

For the US, 68% of imports came from within the Americas and a full 3.2mn b/d from Canada alone. That said, the regional share is down from 2015’s record 74%. Of overseas suppliers Saudi Arabia remains top with 1.11mn b/d, up from 2015’s six-year low of 1.05mn b/d. The other key gains have come from Iraq...