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China Becomes Top Crude Importer

China Becomes Top Crude ImporterChina Becomes Top Crude Importer

Chinese oil imports surged to an all-time high last month, overtaking the US as the world's biggest buyer of crude. March imports stood at 9.17 million barrels per day, according to the General Customs Administration, RT reported. In February, China imported 8.286 million bpd, an earlier record of 8.57 million bpd was set in December. The increase in Chinese oil imports may be explained by larger purchases by independent domestic refiners which received a new quota in mid-January. "The nearly 9.2 million bpd of crude imports is definitely a shocking number. That means China built close to 1.7 million bpd of crude inventory in March, way off the chart from any perspective," said Harry Liu, an analyst with consultancy IHS Markit. At the same time, China is producing less crude than it used to. For January and February, the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics posted an overall combined output of 31.44 million tons, or 230.455 million barrels, down 8% year-by-year.

 

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