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November 28, 2017

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China and US to spur global oil demand

Chinese and US demand for petrochemi cals will drive the global demand for oil next year, an expert said yesterday at the three-day Gulf Petrochemical and Chemical Association Forum.

Demand for oil in China and the US is expected to continue to grow next year, vice president of refining and chemicals at research firm Wood Mackenzie Alan Gelder said, “and globally, we see 3.5 percent growth for petrochemical products in 2018.”

The growth of oil-related manufacturing like the production of ethane and propane, which are basic materials for plastic, was the main driver for the demand of the “black gold.”

A dip in demand for oil as seen in the third quarter of 2017 “was a one-off mostly driven by Hurricane Harvey which hit demand for petrochemicals in the United States,” Gelder added.

Harvey lasted from August 17 to September 3 in the southwest of the United States and was, with US$200 billion in damage, the costliest storm on record, topping Katrina from 2005.

Gelder also mentioned that the slight slowing down of China’s economic growth, saying it “does not mean China’s economy is declining, in fact it keeps growing.”

Asia’s oil demand growth remains strong, and more balanced between gasoline and diesel/gas oil, said the analyst. Earlier in October, the International Monetary Fund raised its forecast for China’s economic growth in 2017 and 2018, saying the Chinese economy would climb 6.8 percent this year and 6.5 percent next year, both 0.1 percentage point higher than its previous forecast in July.


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