Solid demand in China, India, and Japan lifted global oil demand by 1.7 million barrels per day (bpd) in November to the highest level since February 2022, new data from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI) showed on Thursday.
China’s oil demand rebounded by almost 1 million bpd in November compared to October, while Chinese crude oil imports surged to a 20-month high, according to the JODI data shared by the Riyadh-based International Energy Forum (IEF).
In China, oil demand rose by 985,000 bpd in November to a nine-month high, while crude oil imports rose by 1.22 million bpd to 11.41 million bpd. This was the highest volume of crude imports into China in 20 months, according to JODI data. Chinese fuel exports rose by 495,000 bpd to 1.61 million bpd, a 17-month high.
Data from this week showed that China’s fuel exports jumped in December, with gasoline sales abroad matching an October 2020 record, following a huge export quota the authorities issued to refiners at the end of 2022.
Going forward, analysts and industry professionals expect China’s oil demand to rebound in the coming months from a slump at the end of 2022, as China lifted its Covid restrictions after nearly three years.
Saudi oil giant Aramco expects the Chinese reopening and a pick-up in jet fuel demand to lead to a rebound in global oil demand this year, Amin Nasser, the CEO of the world’s biggest oil firm, told Bloomberg in an interview published on Wednesday.
According to the JODI data released today, global oil demand was at 100% of pre-COVID levels in November, while crude production was at 97% of pre-pandemic levels.
Crude oil production dropped by 599,000 bpd in November to a four-month low, led by reductions in Saudi Arabia and Iraq as part of the OPEC+ deal that had its members reduce output as of November 2022.