Chinese oil demand hits new high

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Robust growth in China's oil sector is proof that the country's economy is on its way up, according to research from Platts.

Platts' analysis of recent Chinese government data revealed that China's apparent oil demand increased 9.1 percent year over year in November 2012 to 42.96 million metric tons, or an average 10.5 million barrels per day -- the highest on record -- surpassing the previous record high of 9.8 million barrels per day in September and 9.75 million in October. In November 2011, apparent demand grew by just 3.3 percent year over year to 9.62 million barrels per day.

Demand November was driven by record refinery throughput, according to China's National Bureau of Statistics. Net oil product imports also increased.

"The strong growth in November came from a recovery in consumption but part of it was also likely due to domestic refineries keeping their runs high to replenish oil product stocks that were run down in summer," said Song Yen Ling, Platts senior writer for China. "According to sources, demand growth could moderate to around the 5 percent level going forward once refiners have replaced these stocks," Song said.

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