Today's Trends: Chinese Oil Demand Reaches Third Highest Level Since 2005

China's apparent oil demand in April reached 38.36 million metric ton (mt) or an average of 9.37 million b/d, marking an 8.3% increase from April 2010 due to increased demand during the spring sowing season, according to Platts' recent analysis.

Apparent oil demand by the world's second largest oil consumer in April was the third highest monthly demand rate since Platts began tracking the data in 2005, behind 9.62 million b/d in December 2010 and 9.58 million b/d in February 2011.

"Beijing has in recent weeks directed state oil majors to ensure adequate domestic supply of products by cutting back on exports and running refineries flat out to meet increased demand from the transportation sector and agriculture sector, with the onset of the spring planting season," said Calvin Lee, Platts senior writer, China.

Earlier this month, the National Development and Reform Commission said Chinese oil majors would temporarily suspend diesel exports, except to Hong Kong and Macau, in a bid to boost domestic supplies.

Still, Platts noted that the 8.3% increase in demand in April showed that overall oil demand growth has moderated from the blistering pace set in the first quarter of well over 10% growth each month. "Some analysts are forecasting that Chinese oil demand growth will moderate for the rest of the year because of a decelerating economy and high oil prices further denting end-user demand,” Lee said.


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Brent Crude Oil : $50.97/BBL 1.53%
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