China’s demand for US crude exports has significantly dropped from levels a year ago, contributing to a decline in dirty tanker freight rates in July, according to analysts.

May and June saw the lowest monthly volumes of US crude shipments to China in VLCCs since early last year, according to the Signal Group.

“This decline is notable, especially after reaching its peak in VLCC US tonne-miles just before the end of May,” said Signal analyst Maria Bertzeletou.