(Adds detail, background)
* Implied demand at 10.13 mln bpd in Sept
* Sept consumption down 1.3 pct from Aug
* Refinery runs up 0.5 pct y/y in Sept to 10.32 mln bpd
By Adam Rose
BEIJING, Oct 19 (Reuters) - China’s implied oil demand fell slightly in September from the same period last year even as passenger car sales rose for the first time in six months.
China consumed roughly 10.13 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in September, down 0.1 percent from a year ago, and down 1.3 percent from August, according to calculations based on preliminary government data.
The fall came as Chinese auto sales climbed 2.1 percent in September from a year earlier, according to an industry association last week.
Daily implied oil demand is the sum of domestic refinery throughput and net imports of refined products, not counting adjustments for inventory changes.
The latest throughput and net import figures put China’s implied oil demand in the first nine months of 2015 at 10.35 mln bpd, up 3.9 percent from the same period last year.
The year-to-date growth is running behind the International Energy Agency’s most recent forecast for Chinese demand in 2015, which was revised higher to 4.9 percent earlier this month.
Reuters will publish more detailed demand calculations later in August, broken down by product and adjusted for estimated changes in fuel stocks based on data yet to be released.
In September, Chinese refineries C-CNREFPROC processed 0.5 percent more crude oil than a year ago at 10.32 million bpd. That was down 1.1 percent from August on a daily basis. Refinery runs in the first nine months of the year were at 10.38 million bpd.
The National Bureau of Statistics will provide a breakdown of output by refined products later this week.
China’s domestic crude output rose 2.7 percent to 4.32 million bpd in September and recorded the same percentage growth in the first nine months of the year, the statistics bureau data showed.
(1 Tonne of crude oil=7.3 barrels)
1 Tonne of refined products=7 barrels Reporting by Adam Rose; Editing by Joseph Radford