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.
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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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.