Commodity Market Report

China retail fuels long-term outlook

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The wholesale segment for refined products is dominated by vertically integrated Chinese conglomerates: Sinopec, the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC). In the retail sector, pump prices are still set by the State, effectively limiting retailers’ earnings. After several steps towards market deregulation, foreign companies can now operate in the retail market independently. However, their footprint is still relatively low. While Sinopec and PetroChina - a subsidiary of CNPC - control the vast majority of the retail sites, the combined market share of foreign IOCs remains below ten percent. By 2035, China aims to phase out conventional ICE cars, with half of the new car sales being zero-emission vehicles and the rest being HEVs. The government is cutting back EV subsidies and there is a transition from a subsidy driven market to a consumer driven market.

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