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Learning From South Sudan

File photo of South Sudan's minister of Petroleum, Ezekiel Lol (C) delivers a speech as part of the South Sudan Oil & Power 2017 conference in Juba, Albert Gonzalez Farran / AFP

We recently featured an article in our daily newsletter by South China Morning Post correspondent Jevans Nyabiage about the rapid decline of Africa’s oil sales to China. In 2007, China bought about a third of its oil from African countries. Today, this share has shrunk to about 18%, and it’s expected to fall further. (Nyabiage points out that Angola’s continued repayment of Chinese loans with oil inflates these numbers – without the Angolan factor, the percentage would probably be even smaller.)

Some of the reasons for this shift have nothing to do with Africa. During the 2000s, China was competing with the United States for oil supplies. Since then, the rapid increase in fracking has turned the U.S. into an oil exporter. This means that China doesn’t only face much less competition for oil in the world market, but that, despite the trade war, it’s also importing oil from the U.S.

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