Petroleum demand for thermal power in Japan is shrinking

Petroleum consumption for thermal power by Japanese ten major utility firms fell 24.7% to 1.78 million kiloliters or 374,000 barrels per day in April, according to the Federation of Electric Power Companies. It was the fourth consecutive months decrease and monthly declines have exceed 20% since February.
Warm weather seemed to reduce electricity demand in February and March, but lower demand in April looks serious situation.

Total electricity demand in Japan has decreased on year in the first four months in 2013, while nuclear power supply is rebounding on year since March. Therefore, demand of thermal power declines further.

Petroleum fuel usually suffers the biggest influence when thermal power demand decreases.
Use of petroleum, which includes crude oil and low sulphur fuel oil,  by ten major utility firms was peaked at 734,000 bpd in February 2012. Then the maximum consumption during the last summer was 559,000 bpd in August and the maximum demand in the latest winter was 629,000 bpd in December. Petroleum consumption for thermal power is in a downward tendency clearly.

Domestic weekly supply of low sulphur fuel oil has decreased by more than 10% since early April, according to the Petroleum Association of Japan. Declines in the latest three weeks were 40-60% from a year ago.
On the other hand, exports of low sulphur fuel oil, that had been stopped after September last year, are resuming in the latest six weeks. It suggests that domestic fuel oil market is still overflowing despite the decreasing supply.

Positive anticipation is expanding on Japanese economy recently, however, it is still unclear when energy demand begins rebound.
Electricity supply by Tokyo Electric Power Company fell 1.5% on year in the first half of May. It suggests that the company's power supply may continue to decline in this month.

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