China oil imports likely to rise more in second half: Clyde Russell
The agency expects China's demand to rise to 9.984 million bpd in 2013, up from 9.595 million last year.
The IEA figures, being product demand, doesn't correlate exactly to crude demand, but suggests that crude and net product imports will have to total almost 6 million bpd this year.
Crude imports averaged 5.42 million bpd in 2012, a gain of 6.8 percent over 2011, while net product imports were around 300,000 bpd.
Together, crude and net product imports were around 5.72 million bpd in 2012, meaning to reach 6 million bpd, an additional 280,000 bpd would have to be imported.
Given the refiners polled say they will process about 375,000 bpd more, this implies that net product imports will decline in 2013.
This is likely to take the form of lower imports of fuel oil and higher exports of diesel that would be enough to offset a likely decline in gasoline exports.
Fuel oil imports may decline as small refineries, known as teapots, are allowed to import crude directly, while increased refinery runs will boost the diesel surplus.
Rising vehicle sales will boost gasoline demand and maybe by more than the increased refining capacity, thereby cutting the surplus of the motor fuel available for export.
In addition to higher refinery runs on units that were operating by the end of last year, China is likely to add more capacity in 2013.
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