China’s oil consumption grew 12.8% year over year in March according to Platts. This is about the same growth rate as the country reported for its GDP in Q1, which grew 11.9%.
Yet in comparison to global oil supply growth this year it’s massive. According to the International Energy Agency, the world’s oil supply is expected to grow by 1.3 million barrels per day in 2010. That’s just a 1.53% increase vs. 2009.
So just to put things in perspective, China grew its oil demand at over 8x the rate of global supply growth last month. Moreover, for the entire first quarter of 2010 Chinese oil demand grew even faster:
For the first quarter of this year, Chinese petroleum demand averaged around 8.1 million b/d according to Platts estimates, up 16% versus the corresponding period of 2009. The country’s refiners collectively processed 100 million tonnes of crude in the first three months of the year, or an average 8.15 million b/d, a 21.6% rise from a year ago, helped by new capacity brought on stream through 2009 by state-owned giants Sinopec, PetroChina and China National Offshore Oil Corp.
Thus, in Q1 China grew its oil demand by nearly 10x the rate of expected world supply growth for this year.
Luckily China still only accounts for about 10% of global demand… but its size and share of demand is growing fast.
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