Singapore — China's consumption of oil products rose 5.9% year on year to 28.41 million mt in August, latest data released by the National Development and Reform Commission showed.
The growth was led by gasoline consumption, which rose 9.5% on year, while gasoil consumption rose 2.7% over the same period, NDRC said, without providing a breakdown of volumes for the two grades.
August oil product consumption was also up 3.2% from July, the second month in a row of month-on-month growth, according to S&P Global Platts calculations based on the NDRC data.
Gasoline consumption continued to rise in August as higher temperatures boosted demand for car air conditioning, market sources said.
Meanwhile, China processed 48.89 million mt of crude oil in August, edging up 0.4% on year, NDRC data showed.
The country's oil product output rose 3.4% over the same period to 30.77 million mt, according to NDRC.
This could imply that the country was cracking more light crude oil this year, market sources said.
China produced 16.1 million mt of crude oil in August, up 0.9% year on year, NDRC said. That uptick ended 33 months in a row of year-on-year falls as the major Chinese oil companies moved to boost domestic production, Platts reported earlier.
Over January-August, China processed 391.41 million mt of crude, up 6% on year, while its oil product output rose 8% to 244.53 million mt, NDRC data showed.
China's oil product consumption was up 5.8% on year at 213.9 million mt over January-August, with consumption of gasoline rising 6.5% and gasoil rising 4.5%, NDRC said, without providing a breakdown of volumes.
The growth of oil product consumption was slower than that of oil product output in the eight-month period, which implies more oil product was exported or went into storage, market sources said.
Over January-August, Chinese gasoline exports rose 42.3% on year to 9.59 million mt, while gasoil exports rose 22.4% over the same period to 13.26 million mt, General Administration of Customs data showed.
AUG GAS CONSUMPTION RISES 22% ON YEAR
In the gas segment, China's consumption of natural gas rose 21.6% on year to 23.2 Bcm in August, NDRC said.
China produced 12.8 Bcm and imported 10.7 Bcm of natural gas in August, up 9.6% and 38.9% on year, respectively.
Over January-August, China's natural gas consumption was 180.4 Bcm, up 18.2% on year, while production rose 6% to 103.6 Bcm and imports jumped 38.6% to 78.9 Bcm, NDRC data showed.
NDRC releases key data on output in the oil and gas industry on a monthly basis, but does not provide explanations for the changes.
Platts calculates the data for the prior year based on the percentage changes provided by the NDRC.
--Edited by Wendy Wells, firstname.lastname@example.org