Chinese Oil Demand to Keep Going Strong

There is little doubt China’s crude oil imports enjoyed a robust 2016, hitting a record high. The question is how long the party can continue?

Customs data released on Jan. 13 showed Chinese imports of crude reached 36.38 million tonnes in December, or 8.57 million barrels per day (bpd), the most in a month and well above the previous mark of 8.04 million bpd set in September.

For the year crude imports were 13.6 percent higher at about 7.6 million bpd.

In volume terms this represents a gain of about 912,000 bpd, showing that China is still by a large margin the major driver of global growth in crude oil demand.

To put that figure in perspective, Asia’s other major source of oil demand growth is India, where crude imports were about 4.3 million bpd in 2016, up 7.5 percent or about 300,000 bpd from the prior year.

The International Energy Agency estimates global oil demand growth was about 1.4 million bpd in 2016, not much more than the combined growth in imports of China and India.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza