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Sunday, December 17, 2006

China's Oil Imports Up 10.2% YoY

Sorry, I don't see the huge slowdown that the IEA, Morgan Stanley and others keep predicting in China's oil imports...

BEIJING, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- China's crude oil imports are expected to reach 140 million tons in 2006, up 10.2 percent on last year, according to the Ministry of Commerce (MOC).

Liang Shuhe, deputy director with the Foreign Trade Department of the MOC, said that China's demand for crude oil would total about 290 million tons this year, of which 48 percent were imports.

According to Liang, China's total output of crude oil is expected to reach 183 million tons in 2006, with 7.40 million tons for exports.

Liang said the fast growth of the economy has forced China to depend more and more on imports because of the limited domestic production, predicting that the steady increase in imports was likely to continue.

Statistics from the MOC show that China's crude oil imports increased by 14.1 percent in the first ten months of this year to reach 120 million tons.

The Chinese government removed tariffs on oil imports in November and opened its domestic oil market to foreign companies in December to cut the cost of oil imports.

I guess the oil bears will say that China's crude oil imports are slowing down, from 14.1% growth in the first 10 months of the year to 10.2% for the whole year. But what is China's seasonal oil import demand? I'll check into that and see if it normally slows down in November and December anyway.

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