Platts Report: China's Oil Demand Jumps 16.1% in December

Jan 22, 2010, 11:14 ET from Platts

HONG KONG, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Platts – China's apparent* oil demand in December jumped 16.1% from a year ago, in step with the country's brisk economic growth.

December also marked the fourth straight month that the world's second-largest oil consumer posted double-digit yearly growth in oil demand. Chinese oil demand reached 34.5 million metric tons (mt), or 8.16 million barrels per day (b/d), in December, versus 29.74 million mt a year ago, a Platts analysis of official data showed on January 22.

December oil consumption, however, was slightly lower compared with the November average of 8.22 million b/d.

For the full year 2009, China's apparent oil demand climbed to 389.84 million mt, or 7.82 million b/d, up nearly 6.6% from 2008, Platts data showed.

"Beijing's stimulus package and massive government spending on infrastructure projects managed to return China to red-hot economic growth by the end of last year, propping up domestic consumption of products, including oil," said Vandana Hari, Asia news director at Platts. "The question now is what growth rates we will see if China applies the brakes on its stimulus and banks withdraw the generous loans that have helped fuel a buying frenzy of consumer goods among the newly affluent."

Gross domestic product in the world's third-largest economy grew by 10.7% in the fourth quarter of 2009, the fastest in two years. But Beijing is keeping a wary eye on inflation and the risk of bad debts, while the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have warned anew that the country could face a U.S.-style bubble.

Meanwhile, Chinese refiners processed 27.72 million tonnes of crude in December, a whopping 24.8% higher than the corresponding month a year ago, and also pushed more barrels into the export markets. The country was a net exporter of 80,000 mt of fuel in December, with gasoline, kerosene and jet fuel contributing largely to the net outflow of products.    

With domestic crude production stagnant, imports rose in tandem with refining rates in December, to a new historic high of 5.04 million b/d.

MONTHLY TRADE DATA IN MILLION METRIC TONS:


Dec'09

Dec'08  

% Chg  

Nov'09  

Oct'09

Sep'09

Aug'09

Jul'09

Net crude Imports

20.90

13.95

+25.1

16.70

18.97

16.83

17.92

19.20

Crude Production

16.07

15.81

+1.6

15.67

16.26

15.72

16.32

16.14

Apparent demand*

34.52

29.74

+16.1

33.67

33.89

33.80

33.02

34.92


*Platts calculates China's apparent or implied oil demand on the basis of crude throughput volumes at the domestic refineries and net oil product imports, as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics and Chinese customs.

The government releases data on imports, exports, domestic crude production and refinery throughput data, but does not give official data on the country's actual oil consumption figure and oil stockpiles.

Platts releases its monthly calculation of China's apparent demand between the 18th and 26th of every month via press release and via its website. Any use of this information must be appropriately attributed to Platts.

For more information on crude oil, visit the Platts website at www.platts.com   For Chinese-language information on oil and the energy and metals markets, visit http://www.platts.cn/.

About Platts: Platts, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), is a leading global provider of energy and commodities information. With a century of business experience, Platts serves customers across more than 150 countries. An independent provider, Platts serves the oil, natural gas, electricity, emissions, nuclear power, coal, petrochemical, shipping, and metals markets from 17 offices worldwide. Platts' real-time news, pricing, analytical services and conferences help markets operate with transparency and efficiency. Traders, risk managers, analysts, and industry leaders depend upon Platts to help them make better trading and investment decisions. Additional information is available at http://www.platts.com.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies:  Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE:   MHP) is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts, Capital IQ, J.D. Power and Associates, McGraw-Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2008 were $6.4 billion. Additional information is available at www.mcgraw-hill.com

SOURCE Platts



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