The Chinese data shows that the lag between the bottoming of US total oil demand (1st week of October 2008) and Chinese demand growth was four months. This appears to sync with market anecdotes of the wave length of the economic slowdown (and possible recovery) moving across the globe from the developed world to emerging markets.
Monday, March 23, 2009
China's General Administration of Customs released trade data for February on Monday March 23, 2009. As you can see from the chart above, China's apparent total oil demand grew by 0.5% in Feb 2009 versus Feb 2008. This is the first yr/yr growth figure to come out of China following three months of negative oil demand growth. The Lunar New Year fell in January this year and February last year, with distorts the numbers somewhat.