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China Oil Demand in February 2012

Source: OPEC 2/27/2012, Location: Asia

Chinese oil imports in December were not consumed entirely but were partially stored in the country’s newly built oil-storage facility. Around 0.3 mb/d of the country’s oil imports were stored for future use. China’s oil demand was 9.3 mb/d in December, denoting growth of 0.51 mb/d y-o-y. As a result of transportation demand, both diesel and gasoline consumption grew sharply. Gasoline consumption was 1.9 mb/d in December, indicating growth of 6.4% y-o-y. Use of diesel, the largest consumed product, reached 3.7 mb/d in December. The transport, industrial and petrochemical sectors contributed the most to oil use. China’s oil demand for the whole of 2011 grew by 0.46 mb/d, or 5%, y-o-y. This trend is expected to continue this year, with growth forecast at 0.4 mb/d y-o-y.

Data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) showed that the country’s automobile sales increased slightly, by 1.4%, in December. Growth in passenger vehicles was around 4% lower than in previous months. During 2011, Chinese auto sales rose by only 2.5%, following more than 32% growth in 2010. This was the lowest growth rate in the last decade. The European debt crisis is not expected to affect Russian economic activity. The FSU’s oil demand growth is forecast at 100 tb/d in 2012 y-o-y. Not only is the transport fuel sector expected to see high demand, but also the industrial sector as well. This is expected to put pressure on naphtha, diesel and gasoline demand for the entire year.

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