Australian oil demand growth remained robust at 39 thousand b/d y/y in July, with demand at 1.04 mb/d. Australia’s economy grew by 3.4% y/y in Q2 18, its fastest pace in almost six years. Construction and mining led GDP growth, with coal mining making its biggest contribution since 2014. Unsurprisingly, diesel demand continued to account for the bulk of overall oil demand growth at 48 thousand b/d, although there are concerns that ongoing drought conditions in New South Wales and Queensland, which have weighed on the agricultural sector, could have knock-on effect on the manufacturing sector—indeed, machinery/equipment manufacturers are already reporting reduced sales to the agricultural sector. Gasoline sales slumped by 22 thousand b/d y/y alongside a 7.8% y/y fall in car sales, while jet demand (+7 thousand b/d y/y) and LPG demand (+3 thousand b/d y/y) both grew.
Refinery runs rose by 6 thousand b/d y/y to 0.52 mb/d. Crude imports fell to a 13-month low of 0.31 mb/d (-72 thousand b/d y/y) as June imports were very high at 0.41 mb/d. Total liquids output grew by 8 thousand b/d y/y, as a 38 thousand b/d y/y increase in condensate production offset lower crude output. The first Ichthys condensate export will load between 28 September and 8 October. This should mark a further rise in Australian condensate production, which at 0.17 mb/d in August was the highest since 2010. Product imports grew by 40 thousand b/d y/y led by gasoline (+22 thousand b/d y/y) with growth mainly from the Netherlands. Crude inventories rose m/m by 0.1 mb. Product stocks grew m/m by 1.1 mb led by diesel (+1.2 mb).