Asia leads world in refined-product demand growth

Asia, one of the world's leading consuming regions, has been the biggest contributor to the worldwide petroleum demand explosion during the past year. The increase in demand is the main reason for the current state of petroleum markets, which is characterized by high prices and extraordinarily wide light-heavy product differentials.Asian petroleum product demand growth should average about 600,000 b/d/year during the next few years. The high growth experienced in 2004 is probably unsustainable from an economic point of view. For refiners, the growth rate would be difficult to accommodate in the long term.In 2004, increased refinery utilization has accommodated the rise in Asian petrol...

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