July 13, 2012 / 4:37 AM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-China's June oil demand down 0.4 pct on yr

* June demand 8.96 mln bpd, lowest since Oct 2010

* June demand down 0.4 pct on yr, down 4.5 pct on mth

* June crude runs at 8.76 mln bpd, 3rd decline in a row

* June net fuel imports -37 pct on yr, -38 pct on mth

By Chen Aizhu and Judy Hua

BEIJING, July 13 (Reuters) - China’s implied oil demand fell 0.4 percent in June from a year earlier, contracting for the second time in three months as refineries scaled back production to trim bulging stockpiles.

The world’s second-largest oil user burned 8.96 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) last month, the lowest since October 2010, Reuters calculations based on preliminary government data showed on Friday.

A slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy is taking a toll of its fuel needs, especially in the second quarter. Fuel demand dipped 0.6 percent in April in the first fall in at least three years, before edging up 0.8 percent in May.

Implied demand is calculated by adding crude oil throughput and net imports of refined oil products, but omits stocks changes which are rarely disclosed in China.

China’s refinery throughput in June fell 0.6 percent from a year earlier to 35.98 million tonnes, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday, marking the third straight month of decline as the world’s second largest economy slows.

Daily crude run rates of 8.76 million barrels per day (bpd) were the lowest since October, and were down 3 percent, or 270,000 bpd, from May’s figure of 9.03 million bpd.

A REBOUND IN SECOND HALF?

The International Energy Agency in its monthly report released on Thursday forecast Chinese total oil demand to rise 3.9 percent this year, or 363,000 bpd, to 9.76 million bpd.

That rate would see China make up 45 percent of global demand growth this year, at about 800,000 bpd.

The IEA projected that growth of nearly 5 percent would resume in the second half of 2012, amid “cautious optimism” that the Chinese authorities would provide sufficient stimulus measures to support such a growth rate.

“A large infrastructure spending programme, massive injections into the financial markets tend to support this view,” it added.

Refiners also hoped that China’s cut on Wednesday in the price of fuel at pumps, the third in just over two months, making for a combined reduction of 13 to 14 percent in gasoline and diesel prices since early May, would lure back buyers.

New refining capacities estimated at 190,000 bpd, and expected to come on stream in the second half of this year , will also boost crude throughput in that period. (Reporting by Chen Aizhu and Judy Hua;Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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