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Chinese oil demand slips

S&P Global Platts finds demand moving more in less in parallel with economic slowdown

By Daniel J. Graeber
Chinese oil demand slips
Chinese demand for some oil products slipping as economy settles down, an analysis from S&P Global Platts finds. Photo by Oskari Porkka/Shutterstock

SINGAPORE, June 8 (UPI) -- Oil demand in China, a leading global economy, contracted for the third straight month in part because of economic slowdown, data analysis found.

Analysts with the World Bank downgraded the forecast for global economic growth for the year from 2.9 percent to 2.4 percent. India's economy grows by 7.6 percent, while Brazil and Russia sink deeper into recession. For China, the World Bank said the economy expands this year by 6.7 percent, compared with 6.9 percent last year.

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"In an environment of anemic growth, the global economy faces mounting risks, including a further slowdown in major emerging markets," the World Bank said.

A downturn in the Chinese economy impacted global demand for oil and petroleum products, contributing to the surplus on the world market that pushed the price of crude oil below the $100 per barrel mark common in 2014.

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Analysis from S&P Global Platts finds China's apparent oil demand, a measure of domestic production plus net imports, shrank 1.3 percent year-on-year in April.

"China's oil demand growth is expected to moderate significantly in 2016 as gross domestic product growth slows on the back of economic rebalancing," the emailed report found.

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The Chinese government has put an emphasis on qualitative over quantitative growth after posting double-digit expansion during the last decade.

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As with the United States, higher demand for gasoline and cheaper fuels are reflected in consumer habits. Platts found apparent Chinese demand for gasoline in April was up 7 percent year-on-year. Passenger vehicle sales grew 6.1 percent year-on-year, while sales of larger sports utility vehicles increased by more than 46 percent.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.3 percent at the close of trading Wednesday after data showed weak trade figures for China.

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