Today's Trends: China's November Oil Demand Hits All-Time High

China's apparent November oil demand reached an all-time high of 38.09 million metric tons (mt), or an average 9.3 million b/d, according to Platts' analysis of official data from China. Oil demand in November was 13.1% higher than November 2009 and was marginally higher than October's apparent oil demand at 37.88 million mt, or 8.96 million b/d.

China's apparent oil demand from January to November totaled 393.67 million mt, or an average of 8.64 million b/d, which was a 10.7% gain from the same period of 2009. This 2010 figure surpasses the total apparent oil demand last year, Platts data showed.

Crude throughput by Chinese state-owned refiners in November was at 36.65 million mt or an average of 8.96 million b/d, which was an increase of 9.86% above the throughput in November 2009. Most domestic refiners continued to operate at full or near full capacity in November as they tried to optimize output of middle distillates to meet a diesel shortage that has gripped the country since late September.

"Sinopec and PetroChina kept refinery run rates high in November after being told by Beijing to ensure sufficient supplies of diesel," said Calvin Lee, Platts senior writer, China. "Additionally, Chinese state-controlled companies imported more diesel in November to meet demand, although the volume was less than most industry sources had expected," said Lee.


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