China oil demand falls

Jun 07, 2016 12:00 AM

China's oil demand contracted by 1.3% in April 2016 from a year earlier to 11.36 MMb/d, according to S&P Global Platts.

Refinery throughput in April averaged 10.93 MMb/d, data from the China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on 14 May. This was a 2.3% increase year-over-year and a 3% rise month-over-month.

Net imports of key oil products, however, slumped 48.1% from a year earlier to an average 430,000 bbl/d in April, driven by sustained exports of transport fuels, according to data from China’s General Administration of Customs.

The contraction in oil demand in April represented the third consecutive month of negative growth and was largely attributable to a considerable decline in gas oil and fuel oil demand, amid a slower Chinese economy.

Over the first four months of 2016, apparent oil demand averaged 11.15 MMbbl/d, down 0.3%. This compared with 8.4% expansion during January-April 2015.

China’s oil demand growth is expected to moderate significantly in 2016 as gross domestic product growth slows on the back of economic rebalancing. Chinese government data shows the economy expanded by 6.7% in the first quarter of this year, a decline from 6.8% in Q4 2015.

The country’s 2016 oil demand is forecast to grow by less than 2%, according to Platts China Oil Analytics, an on- line platform for supply/demand and trade data, of S&P Global Platts.

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