13 Mar 2010

China's oil demand jumps by 'astonishing' 28%

7:34 am on 13 March 2010

The International Energy Agency (IEA) says China's demand for oil jumped by what it calls an astonishing 28% in January, compared with the same month a year earlier.

The agency predicts rising demand for oil from emerging markets in 2010, with half of all growth coming from Asia. Demand in developed countries, on the other hand, is forecast to fall by 0.3%.

Overall, the IEA has increased its global oil demand forecast for 2010 by 1.8% to 86.6 million barrels a day.

Crude oil production by countries in the oil producers' cartel Opec rose to a 14-month high of 29.2 million barrels a day in February.

During the same month, Iraq pumped an extra 115,000 barrels a day.

When the Opec nations next meet, on 17 March, the IEA expects the organisation to maintain its current production targets.