Today's Trends: China Oil Demand Hits Record, to Keep Climbing in 2011

China's apparent oil demand in December rose 18% year over year to a record 40.73 million metric tons (mt), or an average 9.6 million b/d, with both crude throughput and net oil product imports rising, according to Platts' analysis of the latest official data.

Oil demand in December was also up 7% from November's 38.09 million mt, or 9.3 million b/d, the previous record high. For all of 2010, China's apparent oil demand rose 11.43% year over year to a record 434.40 million mt, or an average 8.71 million b/d, Platts' analysis showed.

Chinese state-owned refiners processed 38.72 million mt of crude oil in December, up 11.92% year on year and a rise of 5.64% from November, according to data released Thursday by China's National Bureau of Statistics. In 2010, Chinese refiners' crude throughput rose 12.89% year on year to 423.05 million metric tons.

FACTS Global Energy expects China's oil demand to increase to an average 9.5 million b/d in 2011 as the Chinese economy continues to expand and the consumption of transportation fuels increases. "The last two months when China has hit oil demand records are proof in point of the country's apparent insatiable appetite for oil and transport fuel," said Thomas Hogue, Platts news director for Asia.


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Anish Poojara | Jan. 27, 2011
Even if China slows down, at most the growth rate of increasing consumption of petroleum products will come down. If US$ depreciates due to QE2 etc, this add fuel to the fire. And if gold and silver lose their charm then investor and speculative money will flow to oil. Some authorities are talking of US $150 per barrel by the time the summer of 2011 is over. Also the difference between WTI and Brent has risen to unrealistic levels. This means that someone is trying to hold down the WTI prices. Something like the big buys trying to hold down the silver prices when they were short. And when they realize their folly and square up oil can shoot up substantially. US $150 seems high. But $100-110 looks less. US $120-125 looks more likely by December 2011.

Ossama Bayoumy | Jan. 24, 2011
I believe that not only China having an increase in the demand for hydrocarbon but there is also an increase in demand in other countries like India and Brazil. Accordingly, I see that we are very close to oil prices being within the range of $100 - $110 / bbl some time in 2011.


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