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Chinese Oil Product Consumption Grows 6% In August

China’s oil product consumption increased by 5.9 percent annually and 3.2 percent monthly in August, with gasoline consumption up 9.5 percent and gasoil consumption up 2.7 percent on the year, according to data by the National Development and Reform Commission crunched by S&P Global Platts.

The monthly increase in China’s oil product consumption in August was the second consecutive month of month-on-month growth as higher temperatures increased car air conditioning use, market sources told Platts.  

Chinese oil product consumption between January and August rose by 5.8 percent compared to the same period last year, with gasoline consumption up 6.5 percent and gasoil consumption rising by 4.5 percent, according to the NDRC. 

Oil product output, on the other hand, jumped by 8 percent in January-August, at a higher rate than oil product consumption, suggesting that China either exported more oil products or put more products into storage, according to Platts’ market sources.

In crude oil, China’s oil imports rose by 6 percent in August from July, to the highest since May, as independent refiners—the so-called teapots—returned to the market after a few months of depressed oil purchases.  

Following four consecutive months of declining oil imports, China’s independent refiners boosted their crude oil imports in August by 40 percent from July, as many returned from maintenance and prepared for winter fuel demand amid recovering refining margins.

Meanwhile, China’s crude oil production inched up in August from a year ago for the first annual increase since October 2015 as Chinese state firms heed President Xi Jinping’s orders to boost domestic production.

In natural gas, which China aims to increasingly use in the massive coal-from-gas switch, Chinese consumption of gas jumped by 21.6 percent in August, according to NDRC data calculated by Platts. Domestic production increased by 9.6 percent while imports surged by 38.9 percent in August from the same month last year.

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In January to August, natural gas consumption went up 18.2 percent annually, with production up 6 percent and imports soaring 38.6 percent.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh G Salameh on October 09 2018 said:
    China’s insatiable thirst for crude oil and natural gas knows no end.

    In 2017 China imported 8.95 million barrels a day (mbd) compared to 8.72 mbd for the United States to become the world’s largest importer of crude oil. At current rate of oil import growth, China could be expected to import between 10.00-11.00 mbd this year. It will also account for most of the growth in global oil demand.

    China’s dominance in the global oil market underpinned by being the world’s largest economy based on purchasing power parity (PPP) and also the world’s largest importer of crude oil will no doubt help the petro-yuan make major inroads into the petrodollar in the global oil trade in coming years.

    As for natural gas, if China maintains its natural gas consumption at current levels, its 2018 consumption will rise to 284 billion cubic metres (bcm) from 240.4 bcm in 2017. In 2017 China overtook South Korea to become the world’s second-largest consumer of LNG and it is on its way to overtake Japan by the end of this year to become the world’s biggest consumer of LNG. China’s surge in natural gas and LNG consumption is prompted by its massive coal-to-gas switch.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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