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Asia Oil Demand in December 2014

Source: OPEC 12/20/2014, Location: Asia

In October 2014, India’s oil demand declined y-o-y by around 35 tb/d or 1.0%. In the transportation sector, gasoline usage grew; similarly, LPG usage increased in the residential sector. Gasoline consumption was higher despite slower growth in vehicle sales, which was lower than a year ago by less than 3%. The strong LPG usage in the residential sector has, in fact, a long tradition in India and is additionally supported by subsidized LPG prices. Consumption was higher in October y-o-y by 38 tb/d, or more than 7%.

On the other hand, jet/kerosene and gasoil demand declined y-o-y, losing more than 1% and 3%, respectively. This decline could be a result of flood conditions limiting fuel consumption for agriculture and fishing activities. Fuel oil requirements in various sectors were influenced by fuel substitution with natural gas and fell by almost 18% compared with the same time period in 2013. 2014 Indian oil demand growth year-to- date remained slightly lower than the historical norm, largely as a result of fuel substitution and despite solid economic growth.

In Indonesia, oil demand rose during the month of September 2014 by more than 75 tb/d or 5% y-o-y, with all products seeing higher growth. This improvement in consumption can be attributed to stockpiling ahead of the announced removal of subsides in November 2014. Indonesia has announced a 2,000 rupiah or US16.3¢/l rise in subsidized gasoline and diesel prices. This will leave retail prices for gasoline at 8,500 rupiah or US70¢/l and for diesel at 7,500 rupiah or US61¢/l.

In a similar move, Malaysia announced that it would eliminate subsidies for gasoline and diesel from December 2014 to potentially save the government as much as $6 billion of subsidy money annually. The retail prices of the RON95 grade gasoline and diesel will be in accordance with an automatically managed float system that moves in line with international prices. The removal of subsidies was announced, or already implemented, in three major Other Asian nations India, Indonesia and Malaysia ? taking advantage of declining oil prices.

Looking ahead, in all non-OECD Asian countries, the presence of subsidies is common for several petroleum products, and any future reductions may imply downward pressure on oil demand. Fuel substitution with natural gas and coal is an additional factor that may curb oil demand in the region as a result of available resources in some countries. The risks for 2015 Other Asia oil demand growth are expected to be balanced. In India, oil demand is expected to be once more dominated by transportation fuels, particularly gasoline, while the falling trend in fuel oil requirements in the agricultural sector as a result of fuel substitution with natural gas is projected to continue during the year. Also, further developments related to fiscal issues in the country may have a substantial influence on oil demand. In Indonesia and Malaysia, subsidies on transportation fuels and the degree of their reduction may influence oil demand growth.

Total oil demand in the region is estiamted to reach 11.28 mb/d during 2014 with yearly growth of 0.23 mb/d, a trend that is expected to continue in 2015.

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