Related Articles
Forward article link
Share PDF with colleagues

Is Chinese oil demand starting to crack?

Signs of weakness abound. But the country's robust consumption of gasoline remains a wildcard for the market

China has an outsized influence on world oil and remains the most important market to watch. It's sending some confusing signals too. Since the start of the year global oil prices have slumped, turmoil has gripped the country's equities and a weakening currency has fueled concerns about the strength of the nation's economy. Nonetheless, Chinese crude imports recorded a record high in December. Moreover, while apparent demand, which does not include topping up the strategic petroleum reserve (SPR), was impressive in 2015 at 11.2m barrels a day - expanding some 5% year-on-year - oil data from the fourth quarter finally started to reflect weaker economic activity. This is likely to persist in

Also in this section
Peak demand and oil's long-term trap
19 January 2018
Fixating on the timing of a peak in oil demand is misplaced. Rather, the peak's significance is in shifting the paradigm, from perceived scarcity to perceived abundance. And it poses a problem for low-cost producers
The end is nigh for oil
12 January 2018
Fossil fuel merchants including oil companies are living on borrowed time, argues a new book
US energy: what to watch in 2018
3 January 2018
Oil production, trade, renewables and technology top our list of major questions facing America's energy industry heading into the new year