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China oil demand softened in June

July 15/2011

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- China's implied oil demand rose 1.1 percent in June from a year earlier, the slowest growth in oil demand in more than two years, according to a Reuters report. Oil plants in the country are undergoing heavy maintenance amid poor refining margins and Beijing's tightening monetary policy cut into oil use.


But analysts said real oil use may not be as bearish as the figures show, as oil firms may have been drawing on oil inventories, which were not reported by the government, to ease the pain of negative refining margins.


If Beijing continues its persistent battle against inflation, oil demand in the world's second-largest consumer could grow slower than the pace of 5 to 7% forecast early in the year. Concerns remain in Beijing about over inflated asset prices and the sttep rise in the costs of raw materials and foodstuffs.


Implied demand, crude oil throughput plus net imports of refined oil products, averaged 8.97 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, down 3.2 percent from May, and slipped below the 9 million bpd mark for the first time in 8 months, according to Reuters calculations based on preliminary official data.


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