BYD unveils battery-electric over-the-road coach bus; two more models to launch this year
Navigant forecasts 29.3% CAGR growth for electric-drive and electric-assisted commercial vehicles to nearly 160K units in 2023

Platts Report: China oil demand up 5.3% in December to historic high; overall demand in 2014 increased 3%

China’s apparent oil demand in December rose 5.3% year over year to 44.96 million metric tons (mt), or an average 10.63 million barrels per day (b/d)—the highest absolute demand on record—according to a just-released Platts analysis of Chinese government data.

China’s apparent oil demand in 2014 rose 3% from a year before to an average of 10.1 million b/d, which was higher than the 2% year-over-year growth seen in 2013.

Total oil product imports in 2014 tumbled 24.2% from 2013 to 30 million mt, the lowest annual level since Platts started tracking Chinese oil demand data in 2005. Exports of oil product from the country increased 4.1% to 29.67 million mt. As a result, China remained a net importer of oil products, despite being a net exporter during the first 11 months of 2014.

China’s apparent oil demand increased considerably through the year, rising to 10.34 million b/d in the fourth quarter, buoyed by a seasonal uptick in consumption as well as the government’s monetary easing measures. In comparison, apparent oil demand was recorded at 9.89 million b/d in the third quarter and 9.88 million b/d in the first half.

Crude throughput by refineries in December was up 6.3% year over year to 44.58 million mt, or a record high 10.54 million b/d, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) mid-January.

On a monthly basis, China’s oil product imports were 5.3% lower year over year to 3.2 million mt in December, while exports climbed 6.8% to 2.82 million mt, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs.

Gasoil. Apparent demand for gasoil, the most widely consumed oil product in China, in December was 6.7% higher than a year ago at 15.42 million mt. Up to 70% of the fuel is used in the transport sector while the remainder is used by various sectors, including construction, farming and fishing, industrial heating and to power machinery. The pace of growth in December was the fastest since July 2011.

Chinese refiners typically draw down their domestic stockpiles of gasoil throughout the year and start building inventories during the fourth quarter in preparation for the following year’s Chinese New Year holidays in January or February.

Over the whole year, China’s gasoil apparent demand rose 1.8% from 2013 to 172.72 million mt, while the previous year’s demand had contracted for the first time by 0.9%.

Gasoline. Meanwhile, apparent demand for gasoline in December rose 13.4% year over year to 9.55 million mt, with full-year demand increasing 12.5% to 105.25 million mt. Gasoline consumption growth in China continues to be sustained by new passenger car sales as a new middle-class of urban consumers becomes increasingly wealthier.

Fuel Oil. Fuel oil witnessed a structural decline in demand as China’s independent teapot refiners have found ways to get access to more crude supplies. This reduced their appetite for imported fuel oil, which had traditionally been their primary feedstock.

Fuel oil apparent demand in December jumped 30.5% year over year to 3.05 million mt, as low prices on the back of falling crude spurred buying. Imports of the fuel hit an 11-month high of 1.9 million mt in December.

However, fuel oil apparent demand slumped 11% to 33.8 million mt over 2014, compared with the 2.2% contraction experienced in 2013.

Month-to-month demand in China is generally viewed to be subjected to short-term anomalies which are of interest and important to note, but often fail to reveal the country’s underlying demand trends. Year-to-year comparisons are viewed by the marketplace to be more indicative of the country’s energy profile.


Account Deleted

For comparison the USA import less than 5 million barrels of oil net per day. So China imports twice as much oil now as the US. I say we should leave the job of stabilizing the middle east to China. It is their business now. Or at least China must take the lead with US and Europe contributing in proportion to our net imports.

Net us imports below 5 mbpd see

I'm not eager to see any country "stabilize" another region at the end of a gun or missile.

Much better to spend that money on development of local, non-polluting energy sources. A large utility solar plant was just awarded in north Africa for $0.05 per kWh. China has plenty of hydro capacity. They could build many smaller dams that have a smaller dislocation.

How long until there are widespread protests for clean air in China? This is about political will, not technology or resources.

Leave the Middle East oil in the ground.

Account Deleted

I am sure that if the West had not intervened time and again in the middle east it would be a much bigger mess than it already is and always has been and any chance of importing their oil would have been spoiled to everybody's misfortune. But we can't keep doing it. China should do the lions share in this regard if they want that region to function as they are now the main beneficiary of a stable middle east.

I agree we should spend more resources becoming independent on middle east oil as it may disintegrate regardless of our efforts. So no boots on the ground as that would take the monthly expenses from about one billion USD to about 25 billion a month for Iraq alone. It is not worth it and it is not worth the lives of our soldiers. But the current air campaign seems to work with small resources spend.

H> not worth the lives of our soldiers

Not to mention the 100,000 of lives of the locals...

> current air campaign seems to work

Apparently works really well as a AQ recruiting tool. Maybe you never saw the Bin Laden videos where he specifically talks about the AQ attack being in retribution for western intervention in the region and bombing casualties.

Unbelievable that we haven't learned our lessons yet. Bombing people into submission doesn't work long term. Doesn't really work very well short term either.

Less swords. More plowshares.

Account Deleted

So by your logic if everybody stop opposing AQ and IS and instead throw flowers at them they will stop fighting for territory and stop terrorizing and intimidating people and countries they do not yet control. No, I have not seen any of their recruitment videos and neither will I. It is all meaningless propaganda and they will keep inventing hollow reasons for recruiting new combatants/terrorists regardless of what we do. Their end goal is a religious dictatorship to rule all people in the world according to their beliefs. In that theocracy disbelievers will be kept as slaves or killed, homosexuals will be killed, women will have no rights, only priests will be allowed to have opinions, etc. It will be hell on earth for everybody but these priest. They will prevail if no one stand in their way. Luckily for mankind there are people who will and can stop them but China needs to play a much bigger role in this game. Currently China harvest all the benefits of a stabilized Middle East but they do not do any of the expensive and unpleasant work to ensure that things does not get completely out of control. That is one of my points.

The other point is that the West should prepare for a situation where the Middle East and probably large parts of Muslim Africa and Muslim Asia, despite all efforts, descends into utter self-destruction fueled by religious diversities and that most oil export is lost from OPEC. These priests are efficient at destroying but they can't create anything by themselves. This OPEC apocalypse will not happen in the next five years for sure but it could be the result in 10 to 20 years from now. For each decade the Islamist extremism seems to grow more powerful so there is a real chance that this scenario might happen. In any case the West should shield itself from the repercussions by focusing today on becoming self-supplied with oil and gas and by using as little of it as possible by speeding up conservation efforts, increasing mpg standards for new cars, promoting BEVs, renewable energy etc. I know we agree on the latter at least.

I didn't say anything about not opposing AQ or IS Henrik. I think they should be opposed. But as a simple, self-explanatory case, the longest ever US war, and possibly the most expensive, has accomplished very little of the original goals, and even those little accomplishments are in jeopardy. War is simply not the way to accomplish any democratic aims, whether boots on the ground or missiles from the sky.

Glad we agree on becoming self-reliant and focusing on conservation and renewable resources. That's where I'm putting my energy.

Account Deleted

I also agree with you that the second Iraq war was mismanaged beyond belief and as a result ended up costing much more than needed in terms of money and lost lives. However, it is always easy to be clever in hindsight. We probably should have done it with an extended air campaign like we did it successfully in Serbia. That could over time, a few years of daily bombing by one carrier, have forced the Iraqi regime to hand over Saddam and "Chemical Ali" to be prosecuted for crimes against humanity. After all they did gas nearly two hundred thousands Kurdish civilians to death and killed tens of thousands of Shiites that revolted. Sadam also ordered the unlawful invasion of Kuwait. The West had to act on that. They were both eliminated but at a terrible cost. Subsequently trying to build a democratic state in Iraq was also grossly naive. They are not ready for democracy in that part of the world. There are simply too many bad people around and too much ignorance so these countries can only be ruled with the needed degree of stability by some degree of dictatorship. Like Egypt is right now. The best we can hope for in the West are dictatorships that does not plot to harm the West and that can be trusted to do business in accordance to contracts that are respected like trading oil and other stuff.

I think the current air campaign is right. Sending advisors that advise and gain intelligence is also right. However, sending people to train and equip Iraq's armies is foolish. It cost money and our people will be targets for terror attacks that will happen sooner or later. Also we can't make them any better at fighting what is essentially their war not ours. IS took Mosul and overran 30,000 soldiers that was equipped and trained by the US army. It does not work to train foreign armies and it never will. They will lean to fight by going out and do some fighting. If they can't teach themselves nobody can. For all of Iraq we need 100 advisers and intelligence gatherers and 400 marines to protect the embassy etc. That is it IMO.

But you are right this is a green car congress website so the topic should be about that and not war politics. I will also put my energy to that for most of my comments.


@ e-c-i-c and Henrik.

You both have good points but we also have a major potential problem:

1. by 2016, 1% of our richest people (in the World) will have more accumulated fortune than the other 99%.

2. Thereafter, we will qualify as a Moneycracy and we will no longer be a Democracy. Of course, all future elections will be fixed with $$$$$$.

3. We will be back to the past when a few Lords and Kings ruled Europe.

4. The 1% will continue to crush each other and all others.

5. The final winner of the Monopoly game will dominate and rule the Industrial world for a while or until such time as the great revolution or uprising sets in?

6. Will the Monopoly winner fight or try to buy other regimes? Time will tell.

7. According to Nostra-Damus, China will win by 2027 or so.

8. Meanwhile, we will continue to play war games in the Middle-East and North Africa.

9. It is doubtful if religious fanatics can be stopped with aerial bombing.

10. Sooner or latter, we may have to but a few million boots on the ground. It may then be called WW-III?


If we become energy independent, the middle east may lack funds and focus to export their wars. Then we can leave it to them to rebuild their civilization, or destroy it. Is it possible to have another "dark ages" in only part of the world?


It's been a dark age in the ME since the first age of Muslim conquest.  That was when other cultures were over-run and there was a period of a couple of generations when the new populations were not Islamized and there was cross-fertilization such as translations of works into Arabic.  That period ended in the ninth or tenth century.  It's claimed that there are more books translated into Spanish every year than have been translated into Arabic in the last thousand.  That is a dark age that has been going on since before the Enlightenment.


One of our well educated (in North America) self proclaimed local Iman (together with many others loke him) is preaching that Islam and Democracies are on two parallel paths and that Islam people cannot be integrated into Democracies.

France has tried to integrate their 6 million Islams for the last 30 years without much success.

Will USA succeed where others failed?

With the recent ultra radicalisation of many Salafists and easy access to petro-dollars the ME may go back 1000+ years faster than expected.

Harvard Professor Stephen Walt says it better than I could, and with more authority:

"we have a terrorism problem in part because the United States has been repeatedly interfering in the greater Middle East, and not always for the right reasons or with much skill or effectiveness. We aren’t going to reduce that problem by doubling down on the policies that helped produce it in the first place, and especially when even our well-intentioned interventions seem to make things worse instead of better. Do No Harm remains a pretty good principle."


Nonsense.  Muslims (Barbary corsairs) were attacking US shipping and taking US citizens as hostages/slaves as soon as they stopped flying the Union Jack.  Islam has always attacked everyone else; it's literally a Koranic commandment.

Juan Carlos Zuleta Calderón

Following a more recent Platts' podcast (See:, much of China's oil demand increase last year can be explained by incremental commercial and strategic reserves. But Platts' analyst also suggests that China is not likely to increase substantially its oil imports this year because Chinese traders don't want to import too much oil to store, particularly in an environment where oil prices are falling continously.

The comments to this entry are closed.