Is Asia energy demand recovering?

Crude oil market is under the pressure currently because bearish forecasts about the global economy give negative prediction to the energy consumption.
However, recent data on Asian oil demand show some recovery. It seems to suggest that the growth of regional energy use is bottoming out.

India's crude oil throughput in September rose 11.4% from a year ago to 3.45 million barrels per day, according to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. It was the biggest year-on-year growth since July 2010.

Chinese crude oil throughput also soared by 7.0% on year to 9.47 million bpd in September, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The nation's growth rates of crude oil processing had been less than 2% or negative figures over the past several months.

Japan has recorded year-on-year decrease of crude oil throughput during July and September, but weekly data by the Petroleum Association of Japan show 1.3% gains in the first 20 days in October.

Petroleum data describe that Asian demand is rebounding from the previous downward tendency. But we need to see another key data, electricity output.

Indian electricity output in September rose 3.7% on year to 73.1 billion kilowatt-hour, according to the Ministry of Power. Only India continues positive growth of monthly power generation among Asian three large countries over the past few years.

Meanwhile, China's electricity generation in September stood at only 1.2% growth, and Japan's power output fell 0.4% on year in the month due to the nationwide power saving following the nuclear power outage.

The growth of electricity generation seems to remain in the slow down tendency.
The Indian higher crude oil demand was likely caused by on-site generation to make up for a lack of electricity supply. China's increased crude oil processing in September might be related to the raise of domestic official petroleum prices. Lower products stock caused by dealers' hoarding before price increase and better refinery margins encouraged Chinese refiners to increase their operating rates.

We may have to wait an another 2-3 months before confirming whether Asian energy demand has finished the weak trend.

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