Sluggish Asian oil demand while unexpectedly firm US

Crude Oil throughput reflects economic trends. Recent statistical data shows that the crude oil demand in emerging countries has been in slump. Meanwhile, oil demand in the U.S.A. continues to be firmer than expected.

Indian Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas announced that the country's crude oil throughput in October was 13.2 million tonnes (equivalent to 3.12 million barrels per day), decreased by 2.8% from a year ago. It was the first time year-on-year decline since November 2010.

Although India's crude oil throughput reached the record high at 3.60 million bbl/d in January this year, the country's petroleum demand has been leveling off after that.

Petroleum demand in China is also sluggish. Crude oil processed by the world second largest petroleum consuming country in October was 8.77 million bbl/d, up only 0.2% on year.

Crude oil throughput in China has been leveling off after hitting the record high at 9.21 million bbl/d in February.

Another Asian giant petroleum consumer, Japan has recorded 8 consecutive months of year-on-year decrease of crude oil demand after the heavy earthquake in March.

Japan's crude oil throughput in the first 20 days in November is estimated at about 3.4 million bbl/d, down more than 9% on year.

China and Japan post such sluggish numbers despite high coal prices and the lack of nuclear power supply are likely to boost petroleum demand for power generation in these countries.

Meanwhile, U.S. crude oil throughput in October was averaged at 14.55 million bbl/d, up 4.0% on year, according to the data by the Energy Information Administration.

Crude oil processed in the first three weeks in November is estimated to rise 2.5% on year.

Although crude oil demand in the U.S. decreased by 3-5% on year during April and May, the data shows apparent year-on-year recovery after August.

Many people expect that the strong petroleum demand from emerging market such as China and India could complement the decreasing oil demand in advanced nations. But the current data suggests that the U.S. rather keeps steady while the demand in Asian emerging countries is beginning to slow down.

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