China Leads Non-OECD Economies’ Oil Use to Top OECD

Chinese and Brazilian oil demand climbed in April, helping push fuel use by emerging economies above the combined consumption from developed nations such as the U.S. and Japan for the first time, a U.S. report showed.

Countries that aren’t members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development consumed 44.5 million barrels a day in April, exceeding the 44.3 million from the most industrialized nations, the Energy Information Administration reported today. The pattern held in May, when the emerging economies used 180,000 barrels a day more than the OECD.

“It’s a confirmation that the future of oil demand is not in OECD countries,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts.

Global fuel-consumption growth will come from emerging economies as demand from industrialized nations slips amid increased fuel efficiency, forecasters including the EIA, OPEC and the International Energy Agency have said. The IEA, the Paris-based adviser to the 28 nations in the OECD, said May 14 that demand from emerging and developing economies would surpass the OECD this quarter.

Fuel use grew by 0.7 percent in April in both China and Brazil, the EIA, the Energy Department’s statistical arm, reported in its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook. Consumption dropped 1.1 percent in the U.S. that month and 11 percent in Japan. The U.S., China, Japan and Brazil were the world’s four largest oil-consuming countries in 2011, according to EIA data.

Annual Forecasts

OECD members will use 45.5 million barrels of oil this year, compared with 44.5 million from emerging markets, the EIA forecast. In 2014, demand from the developing economies will rise to 45.9 million barrels a day, while OECD consumption will drop to 45.3 million, according to the estimates from the EIA.

China’s consumption will rise to 11.1 million barrels a day next year, up 4 percent from this year’s 10.7 million, the EIA said. India will use 3.67 million barrels a day, up 3.7 percent from this year’s 3.54 million. Brazilian consumption will jump 4.8 percent to 3.03 million in 2014, while Russian usage will gain 3.3 percent to 3.48 million.