China crude oil imports hit record of 8 mln bpd

TOKYO, March 11 (KUNA) — China’s crude oil imports in February hit a record high on daily basis of 31.80 million tons, or 8.04 million barrels a day (bpd), up 24.5 percent from a year earlier amid dwindling oil prices, government data showed.
Imports also jumped 27.4 percent on daily basis from a three-month low of 6.31 million bpd in January, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs.
Last year, the world’s second-largest oil consumer began to allow local independent refineries, known as “teapot” refiners, to import crude oil as part of its energy reforms. Qualified local refineries are allowed to import crude oil if they cut backward capacity or install natural gas storage facilities.
China’s dependency on imported oil this year is expected to reach 62 percent and oil demand will grow 4.3 percent, as car ownership increases, urbanization advances and the state boosts oil reserves, the China National Petroleum Corporation Economics & Technology Research Institute forecast, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported earlier this year.
The institute has also predicted that global oil prices would stay low due to plenty of supply and lackluster economic growth. (end) mk.mt