China, India, Japan hamper Asia oil demand growth, efforts to balance market

By Henning Gloystein | SINGAPORE As the global oil market frets about a stubborn supply glut, faltering demand growth in key Asian crude importers is further hampering efforts to restore market balance. A fuel glut in China, a hangover from demonetization in India, and an ageing, declining population in Japan are holding back crude oil demand growth in three of the world’s top four oil buyers. The three countries make up a fifth of 97 million barrels per day (bpd) in global oil consumption, and any hiccups among them will mean lower-than-expected oil demand growth in Asia, helping to undercut the OPEC-led effort to support prices. “We are indeed seeing lower demand from more than a few clients – air, marine, road, industrial … They are actually consuming less fuel than anticipated,” said Michael Corley, managing director of Mercatus Energy Advisors. In China, vying with the United States as the world’s biggest oil importer, imports in May were still at a near record of 9 million bpd, but a looming cut in refinery operations is set to hit demand for crude oil in the third quarter. In India, which overtook Japan as the world’s third-biggest oil importer last year, crude

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Source: CTRM Center

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