China Energy Demand Stalls

China oil demand growth disappointed in May, with apparent demand contracting 1% year-on-year.

Consensus estimates +3-4% year-on-year oil demand growth forecast this year, which now needs to average c6% y/y growth from June onwards to be reached.

Natural gas supply growth recovered in May to +15% y-o-y after a disappointing 3% y-o-y growth in April. Imported gas remains c33% of China’s total supply

Thermal coal imports fell sharply in May, down -19% month-on-month seasonally adjusted and -20% y-o-y. The decline has been driven by declining thermal power generation due to broadly flat overall demand and improved hydro and renewables generation.

Fuel oil net imports (graph attached) fell to the second lowest on record for May and kerosene net exports reached a new high for the year. Apparent demand for fuel oil was extremely weak in May, down -32% y-o-y as industrial demand remains weak.

Agricultural imports fell steeply in May, most notably wheat and sugar – each down nearly 40% month-on-month seasonally adjusted. Better rainfall early in the year may lead to improved domestic harvests for a number of crops, reducing appetite for imports later in the year.

In aluminum I still see accelerating capacity addition.

At the higher end of the cost curve, Chalco Guizhou, Zhunyi, Yulong plan to restart 330kt old capacity after the local government granted a RMB12cent/kwh tariff subsidy. Gansu Hualu will restart 50kt old capacity. Baotou aluminum will start 150kt new capacity with captive power plant. Zhongfu has been granted RMB4cent/kwh on the power grid pass-through fee.

At the lower end of the cost curve, Shenhuo will complete the second 400kt capacity in Xinjiang. East Hope, Tianshan and Xinfa will complete 350kt, 500kt and 550kt additional capacity in 2H14.


Important Disclaimer: All of Daniel Lacalle’s views expressed in his books and this blog are strictly personal and should not be taken as buy or sell recommendations.

About Daniel Lacalle

Daniel Lacalle (Madrid, 1967). PhD Economist and Fund Manager. Author of bestsellers "Life In The Financial Markets" and "The Energy World Is Flat" as well as "Escape From the Central Bank Trap". Daniel Lacalle (Madrid, 1967). PhD Economist and Fund Manager. Frequent collaborator with CNBC, Bloomberg, CNN, Hedgeye, Epoch Times, Mises Institute, BBN Times, Wall Street Journal, El Español, A3 Media and 13TV. Holds the CIIA (Certified International Investment Analyst) and masters in Economic Investigation and IESE.

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