China's Crude Imports Slump 

China's Crude Imports Slump China's Crude Imports Slump 

China’s crude imports fell from a record to the lowest in three months and net oil product exports tumbled, as state refiners slowed operations amid swelling stockpiles of fuel. The world’s largest energy consumer in January cut imports by 4.6% from a year earlier to 26.69 million tons, or about 6.3 million barrels a day, according to data released by the Beijing-based General Administration of Customs on Monday, Reuters reported. Inbound crude shipments are almost 20% lower than December’s record and the least since October, Bloomberg calculations show. Oil product net exports fell 76% to 350,000 tons, a seven-month low. Imports may continue to slide this month while the country returns from last week’s Lunar New Year holiday, when it essentially shuts down for a week. The country’s total exports declined 11.2% in January in US dollar terms from a year earlier, while imports tumbled 18.8%, adding to economic challenges confronting the world’s biggest trading nation. “China’s crude imports are expected to ease following the very high level in December, as commercial oil stockpiles are quite full now,” Amy Sun, an analyst with ICIS China, told Reuters by phone.