Despite seasonal lulls, China's overall oil demand continues to rise.
Lower-than-expected GDP growth and a sluggish manufacturing sector caused oil prices to dip on the global market. However, new data shows China's year-on-year diesel fuel output and apparent oil demand in March grew steadily.
The nation's diesel output reached 14.8m metric tons (mt) in March, equivalent to 360,000 barrels per day (bpd an increase of 3.8% from a year earlier. There was also a near 17% rise in gasoline production to 8m tons, as well as 2m tons of kerosene. In total, more than 17m tons of crude oil was produced in March, a 3.7% rise.
According to Platts, and international energy agency, China’s apparent oil demand for March also grew by almost 2% to an average 9.77m bpd. This data followed February’s 1.9% growth trend.
The agency claims that refinery upgrades, prompted by government initiatives, brought about “lower-than-usual utilisation rates as [the refineries] entered seasonal maintenance periods.” Low seasonal demand and high inventory stockpiles would also have brought net oil product imports down in the same period, in turn having a negative effect on global oil prices.