CHINA'S DEMAND WILL UP 4.3%
China's oil demand will grow 4.3 percent this year to surpass 11 million barrels per day, compared to 4.8 percent growth last year, the country's top energy group forecast on Tuesday.
State-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) sees the country's oil demand rising to 566 million tonnes, or 11.32 million bpd in 2016, some 460,000 bpd higher than last year.
The forecast, in an annual report released by CNPC's research institute, also put the country's net crude imports up 7.3 percent this year to 7.14 million bpd.
China, the world's second-largest oil consumer, raised crude imports by nearly 9 percent last year, or an additional 540,000 bpd, largely to boost government and commercial reserves as oil companies took advantage of the nearly 70 percent fall in global benchmark prices from mid-2014 to end-2015.
The CNPC demand forecast was higher than a recent report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) that put growth in China's demand for oil products in 2016 at 3.1 percent, down from the 5.6 percent growth it estimated for last year.
Reuters' own calculations show implied oil demand was up 3.1 percent to 10.63 million bpd in 2015.
CNPC also forecast that apparent natural gas consumption would rise 7.3 percent to 205 billion cubic metres (bcm) in 2016, compared with growth of 5.7 percent in 2015 as reported by China's top central planning commission.
Refinery capacity is set to reach 14.4 million bpd in 2016, up 1.3 percent, with throughput rising 5.3 percent to 10.98 million bpd, CNPC said.
The capacity of China's commercial oil reserves was 315 million barrels at the end of 2015, it said.
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REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 72 cents at $61.49 per barrel at 1020 GMT, having fallen by 1.5 percent on Tuesday, its largest one-day drop in a month. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $55.12 per barrel, down 58 cents.
BLOOMBERG - Prices dropped during the session as the International Energy Agency said the recent recovery in oil prices, coupled with milder-than-normal winter weather, is slowing demand growth. The worsening outlook for consumption dampened some of the enthusiasm that OPEC and its allies will extend supply curbs.
Global energy needs rise more slowly than in the past but still expand by 30% between today and 2040. This is the equivalent of adding another China and India to today’s global demand.
Product exports have grown significantly over the past several years and are expected to continue to grow as Russian refineries add capacity to produce more high-quality products.