OECD Pacific Oil Demand in January 2012

Source: OPEC 1/20/2012, Location: Asia

In Japan, the latest monthly data for November is dominated by a strong increase in crude oil direct use, as a result of nuclear plants being shut down. Power plants have been using crude and LNG for electricity power generation. All other product categories contracted sharply during November, as a result of the weak economy. According to the Institute of Energy Economics Japan (IEEJ), the country’s oil consumption is expected to fall by approximately 4% in the next financial year, starting April 2012, if nuclear plants are allowed to resume operations from next summer. Moreover, the consumption of natural gas for power generation would drop by 13%, after a strong rise in the financial year 2010/2011. The IEEJ, however, expects the nation's demand for oil, gas and thermal coal for power generation to rise sharply in 2012/13, if no reactors that have been shut for maintenance are allowed to restart. In South Korea, October oil demand came up flat; increases in fuels used in the petrochemical industry, such as LPG and naphtha, have been offset by decreasing oil demand for transportation and other industrial fuels.

OECD Pacific oil consumption is expected to show slight growth during 2011 and 2012, by 0.05 mb/d each, although these projections are heavily dependent upon whether the nuclear plants resume operations. Japanese auto sales continued to rise strongly in December, by 23.5%, following very strong growth in October and November. The high growth in December also reflected the low base during 2010 and reacted positively to government subsidies during 2011 for fuel-efficient cars. Furthermore, after a year of disasters, the Toyota Motor Corporation expects to see record sales in 2012. It forecasts global sales reaching 8.48 million vehicles in 2012 year, an increase of 20%.


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