China’s oil demand to 2020

CGES have said that China’s oil demand will be over 2.8 million bpd higher from today’s level by 2020. In 2012 demand was 9.8 million bpd and is expected to reach 12.5 million bpd by 2020. The increase is expected to be the result of oil demand for road transportation and to a lesser extent due to increased demand for the industrial, household and other sectors.

Automotive demand
This year car, truck and bus sales in China are soaring and are expected to reach 20 million units. By 2014, the US expects its vehicle sales to reach 16 million units. The US is traditionally the world’s largest auto market.

China is not expected to reach saturation for years to come in the vehicle sector, despite the huge size of the Chinese population. The current rate of Chinese car ownership stands at only 70 cars per 1000 people and it is likely to take 30 years before the 400 cars per 1000 people mark is achieved.

Vehicle demand and oil
The exponential growth of the car and truck fleet in China leads to significant increases in oil demand which will offset any gains in fuel efficiency of new vehicles. The market for trucks and buses is expected to grow in line with economic activity and public transport planning and in any case, at a much lower pace compared with the light vehicle market.

The CGES forecast suggests that oil demand in the Chinese transportation sector will reach 6.6 million bpd by 2020, whereas it will be 5.9 million bpd for all other sectors. This compares with 2.5 million bpd in the non-transport sector and 4.5 for transport in 2012.

Adapted from press release by Claira Lloyd

Published on 05/11/2013

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