SINGAPORE, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Platts -- China's apparent oil demand* in September rose 5.1% year on year to 35.53 million metric tons (mt) or an average of 8.68 million barrels per day (b/d), according to a just-released Platts analysis of official data from the People's Republic of China.
The September demand figure is almost unchanged from August's 35.54-million-mt level.
Meanwhile, China's apparent oil demand in the first nine months of the year totaled 317.7 million mt or an average of 8.52 million b/d, up 10.25% from the same period of 2009, according to Platts' data.
Chinese refiners processed a total 34.91 million mt or an average 8.53 million b/d of crude in September. This is up 6.35% from a year ago, but just 0.52% higher than August, according to data released by the country's National Bureau of Statistics on October 21.
The refiners' collective crude throughput from January to September was 310.74 million mt, 13.48% higher from a year ago.
Chinese crude imports in September hit a new historic high of 23.29 million mt, or around 5.7 million b/d.
"The crude available to China in September, including domestic production and net imports, was 40.09 million mt, but the throughput was only 34.91 million mt. So a little over 5 million mt of crude presumably went into storage, the highest in a month so far this year," said Vandana Hari, Asia editorial director at Platts.
"At the same time, China's monthly refined product imports continued to come off June's high of 3.64 million mt, while the country stepped up product exports last month. The flattening of implied oil demand in September could be a precursor to an easing of the country's runaway oil demand growth rate for the remainder of 2010," Hari added.
China's net oil product imports in September were down 36% from the corresponding month of 2009 at 0.62 million mt or around 147,600 b/d, statistics released by China's General Administration of Customs showed earlier this week.
MONTHLY TRADE DATA IN MILLION METRIC TONS:
Net crude imports
*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. Official statistics on oil storage are released intermittently.
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.
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