Tuesday, March 22, 2011

PLATTS ANALYSIS: China Feb Oil Demand at 9.58 mil b/d, 2nd Highest Ever

Platts, Singapore, Mar 22, 2011
China's apparent oil demand in February climbed 10.1% year on year to 36.65 million mt or an average 9.58 million b/d, with demand reaching its second highest level ever barely two months after hitting its all-time high, according to a Platts analysis based on recent figures released by the government.

The rebound in oil demand, after a dip in January, was attributed to increased crude throughput by several refineries ahead of scheduled turnarounds and higher production by other plants coming back from planned maintenance.

Oil demand in February was up 4.2% from January's 9.19 million b/d, and just a tad lower than the all-time high reached in December of 9.62 million b/d.

China does not release official oil demand statistics. Platts calculates the country's oil demand based on official data on refiners' crude throughput and net oil product imports.

State-owned refineries processed 35.21 million mt of crude oil in February or an average of 9.22 million b/d, surpassing the previous record high of 9.16 million b/d in December.

Crude throughput in February was 10.4% more than a year ago, and 4.9% higher than the January's 8.79 million b/d. Net oil products imports in February were 5.1% higher year on year at 1.44 million mt, but 15.8% less than net oil product imports of 1.71 million mt recorded in January. [Full story]

(China is the world's second largest oil consumer behind the United States---please see "Top 25 World Oil Consumers, 2009-2010, here. According to the BP Energy Outlook 2030, China is the largest source of oil consumption growth, with consumption forecast to grow by 8 million b/d to reach 17.5 million b/d by 2030, overtaking the United States to become the world's largest oil consumer. -- D.R.)

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