"China oil demand in fastest growth in over 3 yrs
By Jim Bai and Chen Aizhu
BEIJING, Oct 26 (Reuters) - China's apparent oil demand rose 12.5 percent in September from a year earlier, the sixth rise in a row and the fastest rate since June 2006, as refiners operated at record rates amid a sustained recovery in economic activity.
However, the robust September rate, anticipated by some analysts, may have been inflated by a low base a year earlier when implied oil demand inched 2.3 percent as the global financial crisis began infiltrating into the world's second largest oil market.
China used nearly 8.17 million barrels per day of oil last month, Reuters calculations based on official data showed on Monday, 460,000 bpd or 5.8 percent higher than August.
The demand growth, the first double-digit rally since August 2006, came as China's fuel stocks -- excluded from the calculations -- edged lower for the second month in a row, providing more solid fundamental support to global oil prices CLc1 now near one-year high just under $80 a barrel.
"While we do not deny that other factors such as currency movements are influencing oil price, there are also important factors from the physical market that drove oil prices," Paul Ting, an independent oil analyst, said in a recent note.
"It was not a coincidence that China's demand strength in the past two months corresponded with oil price strength, nor was it a coincidence that oil prices were weak in the first quarter when China's oil demand was weak."
Demand for diesel, the main transportation fuel in China, grew 7.7 percent from a year earlier, the first increase since June and the fastest since Nov 2008, offering fresh evidence that industry activities were picking up.
Chinese refineries processed a record 7.99 million bpd last month, 14 percent higher than a year earlier, as growth in the world's third largest economy quickened to 8.9 percent in the third quarter from 7.9 percent in the second quarter."
O uso de petróleo por parte da China está a crescer a um ritmo acelerado. Este gigante já consome mais de 8 milhões de barris de petróleo por dia (Portugal consome à volta de 300000 e os EUA cerca de 20 milhões). Provavelmente, antes de a China atingir o nível de consumo dos EUA, o petróleo extraído não chegará para suprir as necessidades mundiais. Por isso, o cenário futuro é a inevitável subida de preços dos combustíveis o que se traduzirá na subida generalizada dos preços dos bens de consumo, com destaque para os bens alimentares. Logo, a inflação aumentará e atrás disto virá o aumento dos juros dos empréstimos. Isto não vai ser fácil!