China’s Oil Demand Continues Robust Growth in October

From Today’s Energy Solutions

China’s apparent oil demand rose 6.6% year over year in October to 41.28 million metric tons (mt), or an average 9.76 million barrels per day (b/d), the third highest on record, according to a Platts analysis of recent Chinese government data showed.

October apparent demand was slightly lower than the record 9.8 million b/d in September and the 9.77 million b/d seen in February this year.

“We continued to see strong growth in apparent oil demand in October, particularly after the lackluster performance from June to August when demand contracted by about 0.3% year over year,” says Song Yen Ling, Platts senior writer for China. “Most analysts now believe China’s economy is on the mend and we should see a corresponding improvement in oil demand going into next year.”

China’s oil demand in October continued to be sustained by a recovery in economic growth. In September, demand had risen 9.1% year over year, a rebound from the 1.5% contraction in August to 8.95 million b/d, the lowest since September 2011.

Apparent oil demand was also boosted by higher refinery throughput, which rose 6.7% from October 2011 to 9.44 million b/d, according to data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics on November 13. This is the second highest on record after the 9.47 million b/d seen in September. Another factor contributing to the rise in apparent demand was the surge in net oil product imports of 3.8% year over year to 1.37 million mt in October.

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