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
The price is right
5 April 2018
With the help of thirsty consumers and collapsing Venezuelan output, the market seems at last to have found its range
Opec and IEA bristle at Trump's trade posturing
16 March 2018
The IEA and Opec say Trump’s trade plans are a threat to global growth
Five key takeaways from the big three oil market reports
15 March 2018
Demand and supply data still diverge, Venezuela’s increasingly critical to balances, and some macro alarm bells are starting to ring