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Oil & Gas Demand-China: Natural gas (continues to) slow

研究机构:德意志银行 研究员:David Hurd 发布时间:2015-06-02

The data is important - so we publish it:

We source this data from China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS via CEIC). We make no adjustments to the data. China's apparent oil demand 2014 grew by 5.8% vs. 2.8% in 2013. We are estimating oil demand growth of 3.6% for 2015 vs. ytd. end-April of 4.8%. China's oil demand to GDP elasticity is declining: ~0.71 (1998-14) to ~0.67 (2008-14) or to ~0.57 (2008-14) x-outliers (Figure 28). DB's China Economist, ZHANG Zhiwei expects China GDP growth to slow to 7% in 2015e and to 6.7% in 2016e vs. 7.4% in 2014.

How we think about this data .

There is a lot of data presented in this monthly - how do we sort through the chaff and think about the key numbers presented:

Figure 4 - China's apparent demand for crude grew 4.8% ytd end-April 2015/ 14. China’s apparent demand for oil products grew 7.2% ytd end-April 2015/ 14. Is China’s economy starting to pick up steam? China’s product demand growth of 7.2% remains out of step with China’s slowing macro economic data. Apparent product demand should be a better proxy of China’s GDP growth than apparent oil demand, which reflects not only oil consumption, but also the filling of China’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Data for China’s SPR is not available and considered “State secret”.

Figure 7 (production) and Figure 10 (imports) - China’s domestic crude production (Figure 7) showed strong growth (2%) ytd end-April 2015/ 14. This likewise flies in the face of PetroChina’s FY15 production growth guidance of -1.5% and Sinopec’s guidance of -3%. Oil production growth 2014/ 2013 was +0.6% vs. an average of 0.7% pa 2011-13 and 2.3% pa 2001-10. The offset to declining domestic oil production is a growing dependence on imported crude oil (Figure 10). China’s crude oil imports are up 7.8% ytd end-April. Oil imports continue to be elevated.

n Import-Export product data (Figures 9-15) - We think about these numbers in terms of Asia refining margins. If China were to become a large importer/ exporter of crude products, Asia refining margins would feel upward/ downward pressure. China has a policy of oil product self-sufficiency. Although net product imports have grown 61% ytd-April the base remains insignificant at 2.78 mln tons of net imports. As a percentage of total Asia consumption, China’s diesel imports have fallen to 0.12% (2014e) from 0.66% (2011e), whereas gasoline imports have risen to 0.01% (2014e) from 0.0% (2011e) - both remain insignificant.

n Natural gas data (Figures 16-18) - China increased natural gas prices by 15.3% on 10-July 2013 and by 18.2% on 01-Sept 2014. China’s demand for natural gas slowed to 5.6% ytd end-April 2015/ 14. On an April Y/y basis, China’s gas demand grew at only 2.2%. As gas demand in China slows, the risk of a downward price adjustment (2015e) increases. Of the China O&G SOEs, this would be most negative for PetroChina.

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