GUANGZHOU, China, December 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Growth in demand for refined oil products in China has collapsed in 2014, with the world's largest economy showing only a 1.1% increase over the past 12 months, a new study by the country's largest energy analysis business shows.
The authoritative ICIS China Annual Petroleum Report, due for release in January 2015, calculates Chinese oil demand to have hit 503 million tonnes over the course of this year. The figure represents the slowest growth rate since 2000, ICIS China says in its 160-page study - an exhaustive and unrivalled annual review of China's entire oil industry. Net imports of refined products have meanwhile fallen by 43% year on year as China's refining industry has ramped up production, and overall dependence on imported products is now at just 2%.
The slowdown in demand growth comes despite a collapse in international oil prices since July, which has seen benchmark Brent crude fall from a peak of $114/barrel in June to just below $60/barrel today.
Overall energy consumption in China is expected to grow at a faster rate than oil: up by 3.4% year on year to 3.88 billion tonnes of coal equivalent in 2014. That figure will fall to just 3.2% growth next year, ICIS China predicts, with energy consumption at 4 billion tonnes.
In part, the slowdown in oil products demand growth is due to slower economic growth in China, ICIS China says, with 2014 coming in at 7.5% for the overall economy. However, it is also the inexorable effect of the country's ongoing shift from heavy industry to lighter industry, service industries, and its focus on urbanisation. This is provoking a slump in demand for gasoil, while that for transportation gasoline remains relatively buoyant.
In contrast with slowing growth in overall products demand, actual Chinese crude oil imports have continued to rise strongly over 2014. ICIS China's analysis shows overall crude imports hitting 300 million tonnes for the year, up 7.8% on 2013. The growth in crude however is primarily driven by a major Chinese government initiative to build a strategic crude oil stockpile, which aims to build stocks to 70 million cubic metres by the end of 2020.
ICIS China forecasts a rebound in refined products demand in 2015, predicting a 4.1% growth for the year.
For more details on the outlook for China's oil industry, please visit http://www.icis.com/china_petroleum. ICIS China has more than 10 years' experience in analysing the Chinese oil sector, and provides decision-critical information and analytical products across the board to industry participants and players interested in becoming involved in China.
ICIS is the world's largest petrochemical market information provider and has fast-growing energy and fertilizer divisions. Our aim is to give companies in global commodities markets a competitive advantage by delivering trusted pricing data, high-value news, analysis and independent consulting, enabling our customers to make better-informed trading and planning decisions. We have more than 30 years' experience in providing pricing information, news, analysis and consulting to buyers, sellers and analysts.
With a global staff of more than 800, ICIS has employees based in Houston, Washington, New York, London, Montpellier, Dusseldorf, Karlsruhe, Milan, Mumbai, Singapore, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Yantai, Tokyo and Perth. ICIS is a division of Reed Business Information, part of Reed Elsevier Plc.
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