Beijing: Sinopec Corp said on Tuesday that its domestic refined fuel sales fell 8.43% in the first half of 2009, but analysts said the decline will slow in the second half as the economy recovers.
Sinopec, Asia’s top refiner which supplies nearly half of the world’s second-largest oil market, said refined fuel sales were 57.71 million tonnes in the first six months.
The firm processed 1.82% more crude oil in the period over a year earlier at 86.9 million tonnes, or 3.5 million barrels per day, it said in a post on www.sinopec.com, in line with a 1.5% rise in the country’s total crude throughput.
“The first-half decline was led mostly by a sharp sales drop in diesel in the first few months. But demand appears to have bottomed out and we expect the government stimulus plan to work a larger effect in the second half,” said Yan Kefeng of Cambridge Energy Research Associates.
“Very strong gasoline demand should help slow that decline,” Yan said.
Sinopec, China’s second-largest oil producer after PetroChina, pumped 149.12 million barrels of crude oil, or up 1.18%, in the first six months, while gas production fell 1.12% to 142.53 billion cubic feet.