1. China oil demand rises in June, car sales slump may cap economic growth

China oil demand rises in June, car sales slump may cap economic growth

China's implied oil demand grew 3.5 percent in June, as rising air travel and vehicle usage boosted fuel consumption, but a drop in passenger car sales amid a recent stock market rout could limit demand growth over the next few months.

By: | Published: July 15, 2015 12:38 PM

China’s implied oil demand grew 3.5 percent in June, as rising air travel and vehicle usage boosted fuel consumption, but a drop in passenger car sales amid a recent stock market rout could limit demand growth over the next few months.

China consumed roughly 10.56 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in June, up from 10.20 million bpd in the same month a year ago and up 2.3 percent from 10.32 million bpd in May, according to Reuters calculations based on preliminary government data.

That would mean China’s implied oil demand in the first half of 2015 was up 5.7 percent year-on-year at 10.43 mln bpd, using the preliminary data.

Demand growth, however, may weaken after China’s automakers association cut its 2015 forecast for vehicle sales growth to a meagre 3 percent last week as a major slump in the stock market depressed sales to consumers already concerned about the slowing economy.

June figures for gasoline implied demand were not immediately available, but in May, demand was up almost 14 percent on year, Reuters calculations show.

Implied oil demand is the sum of refinery throughput and net fuel imports, excluding changes to commercial fuel inventories.

Reuters will publish more detailed demand calculations later in the month with a breakdown by refined product and adjustments for estimate changes in commercial fuel stocks, based on data that is released later in the month.

The IEA’s latest forecast for Chinese demand growth in 2015 is 3.2 percent, with gasoline, jet fuel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) leading the gains.

In June, Chinese refineries <C-CNREFPROC> processed 3.3 percent more crude oil than a year ago, at 43.35 million tonnes, or 10.55 million bpd. That was up 2 percent from May on a daily basis. The National Bureau of Statistics will provide a breakdown by refined product later this week.

China’s domestic crude oil production rose 3.2 percent to 18.12 million tonnes (4.41 million bpd) in June and recorded 2.1 percent growth in the first half of the year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

(1 tonne of crude oil = 7.3 barrels)

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