IEA sees refinery slump but Chinese gains

Oct. 12, 2012 at 8:41 AM
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PARIS, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Global economic concerns could drag on oil refining capacity in general, though the IEA said in a report that China may be on the rise in terms of exports.

The International Energy Agency, in its monthly market report, said refining rates would fall from 75.8 million bpd during the third quarter to around 75.4 million bpd because of lower demand, reports Bloomberg News.

The assessment corresponds with a bleak economic outlook from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. OPEC, in its monthly report, said global economic growth for 2012 was revised down 0.2 percent to 3.1 percent.

OPEC said problems in the eurozone would continue, adding the U.S. market was performing "below potential." The Chinese economy, meanwhile, was expected to expand by 8 percent next year, OPEC said.

The IEA said it expects China to increase its oil exports as refineries boost their output amid lowered domestic demand.

"The exact scope of this evolution hinges on the potential emergence of a mismatch between Chinese domestic demand growth and the nation's ambitious program of capacity expansion," the IEA was quoted by Bloomberg as saying. "If all planned projects go ahead while demand growth slows as much as we forecast, China could emerge, at least for a while, as a new powerhouse in product exports."

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