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SUV boom bolsters Chinese oil demand

Despite a slowing economy, some bullish forecasters predict China’s oil demand will be stronger for longer as transportation, rather than industrialisation, spurs growth

Analysts at Bernstein Research remain bullish on China’s oil demand growth, forecasting 11.3 million barrels per day (b/d) by 2015, which excludes the filling of strategic petroleum reserves and is 500,000 b/d above the current consensus. China consumed 9.6m b/d in 2012. They say demand will be driven by the population’s rising taste for gas-guzzling sports utility vehicles (SUVs), which, despite Beijing’s aggressive fuel efficiency targets, looks set to remain the fastest growing sub-segment of China’s ballooning vehicle market. The number of vehicles on China’s roads is expected to double to more than 220m by 2020. In an attempt to ensure it

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