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Today's Trends: China Oil Consumption Climbs, But Down From June Peak

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China consumed an estimated 35.54 million metric tons (mt) of oil in August, 7.6% higher than the corresponding month of last year, but a continuing decline from June's all-time peak, according to Platts' analysis of data from China's National Bureau of Statistics.

The August apparent oil demand, or implied oil demand on the basis of crude throughput volumes at domestic refineries and net oil product imports, equates to an average 8.40 million b/d, compared with 8.47 million b/d in July and 8.97 million b/d in June this year. Meanwhile, for the first eight months of 2010, China's apparent oil demand was 282.17 million mt or an average of 8.51 million b/d, up 10.9% from the same period of 2009.

Chinese refiners processed a total 34.73 million mt or an average 8.21 million b/d of crude oil in August, up 6.7% from a year ago, but down 1.6% from July. Crude imports jumped 13% from a year ago to 20.9 million mt, or about 4.92 million b/d.

"The growth in China's monthly implied oil demand has dropped to single digits since May from the 13% to 18% range seen in the first four months of this year. While this could be partly explained by a low comparison base in the early part of 2009 when the Chinese economy briefly stalled, one cannot ignore the month-on-month decline since July," said Vandana Hari, Asia editorial director at Platts.


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