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China's July oil product consumption edges up 1% on year: NDRC

Singapore — China's oil product consumption edged up 0.9% year on year to 27.78 million mt in July, latest data on the National Development and Reform Commission website showed, mirroring lackluster oil product demand in the domestic market.

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The slight growth was led by higher gasoil consumption, which rose by 1.6% year on year.

China's gasoil demand has improved since June which was believed to have been mainly supported by an increase in infrastructure project startups, said a market observer in Beijing.

The Chinese government has called for more infrastructure investments this year in a bid to boost the economy. The NDRC has reportedly approved more than 30 infrastructure projects as of end-July.

Meanwhile, gasoline consumption fell by 1.7% over the same period, the first year-on-year decline since April 2018, according to historical data made available on NDRC's website. NDRC didn't provide a breakdown of volumes for each of the products.

Domestic gasoline demand growth has been under pressure from decelerating automobile sales since last year.

Chinese passenger vehicle sales continued their downward trend, falling 3.9% year on year to 1.53 million units in July, data from China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed.

The country processed 48.82 million mt of crude oil in July, up 0.4% year on year, while its oil product output rose by 2.4% year on year to 31.17 million mt, NDRC data showed.

Meanwhile, China produced 16.32 million mt of crude in July, up 4.8% year on year, the data showed.

Over January-July, China consumed 187.21 million mt of oil products, up 0.9% year on year as well, with gasoline consumption rising 4.2% and gasoil falling 3.1%, NDRC data showed.

China's oil product output was 215.42 million mt in the first seven months of 2019, up 0.8% year on year, the data showed.

The country's crude output totaled 111.36 million mt over January-July, up 1.4% year on year, while its crude throughput was 342.17 million mt, down 0.1% over the same period, NDRC said.

There is no comparison on month-on-month basis, NDRC did not provide oil product and crude figures for June.

NDRC normally releases key data on crude production and throughput, oil product output and consumption on a monthly basis, without providing explanations for the changes.

Platts calculates the data for the prior year based on the percentage changes provided by the NDRC.

--Analyst Cindy Liang,

--Edited by Nurul Darni,