But the good times for the teapots may be over as new tax rules have started to stifle their profit margins and could limit their purchases of crude oil, potentially affecting demand growth in the world’s largest crude oil importer. The ‘teapots’ import quotas and the fact that they started buying crude oil directly from the world’s oil exporting nations put them firmly on the international map three years ago and made them an important player in the global oil market. The purchases by independent refiners have grown to account for around a fifth of China’s total crude imports. The teapots have become instrumental in China’s growing thirst for crude oil. And between 2015 and earlier this year, the independents were living it up in good times—they were allocated annual and semi-annual crude oil import quotas, and crude oil prices were still in the ‘lower for longer’ region. Teapots […]