China's apparent oil demand in May dipped 0.7% compared with the same month last year to 39.92 million metric tons (mt) or an average 9.44 million barrels per day (b/d), a just-released Platts analysis of Chinese government data showed.
Apparent oil demand last month was at its lowest level in nine months -- recording the first year-on-year contraction since January -- following three months of relatively slow growth.
On a month-over-month basis, apparent oil demand in May fell 3.2% from April, reflecting China’s underlying damped economic performance. This was the third consecutive year that apparent oil demand contracted in May from April.
This was counter to prior years, when apparent oil demand traditionally accelerated in the second quarter compared with March due to a pick-up in industrial activity in spring.
China’s refinery crude oil throughput volumes in May rose 3.5% from a year earlier to a four-month low of 9.54 million b/d, according to the latest data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics.