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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Oil imports to Japan, China, and India boosting 1H03, imports to S Korea down - PIW

Petroleum Intelligence Weekly reports that Japan’s 8% leap in oil demand in the first half of 2003 (1H03) must be seen on the background of the shut down of nuclear plants. As soon as the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) restarts its nuclear reactors and cuts back on fuel oil for its thermal power plants, oil demand growth is expected to ease back down. Japanese refiners imported around 14% or +0.54 mbd more crude 1HO3, mostly in anticipation of the war in Iraq. Tepco’s problems sent first half fuel oil consumption up 23% (0.215 mbd) to 1.14 mbd, driving overall demand up by over 0.4 mbd. Prospects for the second half of 2003 are uncertain; industrial demand is not strong, but the restart of Tepco’s nuclear reactors is taking longer than expected.

In the case of China, refiners were blindsided in March by the outbreak of serious acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which severely restricted industrial and consumer oil demand alike. Imports averaged 1.76 mbd 1H03 — a massive 33% rise on one year ago — but weaker domestic demand soon had refiners drowning in excess crude, which they were forced by June to put back into the market. “Initial estimates suggest that demand for gasoline, diesel, and kerosene in key provinces was down 10% year-on-year in April and May,” Credit Suisse First Boston said in a recent report. The bank expects Chinese oil demand still to grow by 4% this year. South Korea and India are adding little or nothing to regional demand growth. A transport strike in India hit agricultural demand in the spring and South Korea is slipping into economic stagnation as a credit fuelled recovery loses its footing. Korean crude imports decreased by nearly 4% 1H03 to 2.14 million.

PIW reports that India’s crude imports also surged ahead of the Iraq war, but are now showing signs of slowing sharply.

Oil demand - mbd

 

1H03

1H02

change mbd

chg.%

Japan

5.591

5.18

0.411

7.9

China

4.804

4.691

0.113

2.4

South Korea

2.199

2.173

0.026

1.2

India

1.986

2.02

-0.034

-1.7

Crude oil imports - mbd

 

1H03

1H02

change. mbd

chg.%

Japan

4.516

3.979

0.537

13.5

China

1.755

1.322

0.433

32.8

South Korea

2.136

2.214

-0.078

-3.5

India*

1.774

1.539

0.235

15.3