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Oil consumption in Japan because of the earthquake

Oil consumption has suffered in Japan because of the earthquake, so that could explain a short term reduction in demand. But since then, the bulk of Japan's refinery capacity has returned to the oil market and demand should follow. March and April mark the peak of seasonal maintenance for refineries, reducing intake of crude. In addition when oil prices surge, particularly because of a supply shock, refiners tend to draw down their own stocks, reducing demand over the short term. But at some point those stocks need to be replaced.

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