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Chinese oil imports to rise, analyst says

OPEC sees demand from China increasing nearly 4 percent.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Aug. 13, 2014 at 9:03 AM
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BEIJING, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Chinese imports of crude oil during the second half of the year are expected to account for more than half of its supplies, an industry analyst said Wednesday.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its latest monthly oil market report China is expected to demand 10.3 million barrels of oil per day during the third quarter, which should increase another 3.8 percent during the fourth quarter of the year.

Gao Jian, a crude oil analyst for Sublime China Information Co., said imports should account for about 60 percent of China's total crude oil supplies for full year 2014 because of higher imports during the second half of the year.

"International crude prices have been falling in the first half and are at relatively low levels now," he said. "It is a good time for Chinese companies to bolster crude imports for commercial or strategic reserves."

Asian economies are growing at a faster rate than other major markets. OPEC said in a 97-page annual report published earlier this year that oil demand should increase most notably in China, Thailand and Indonesia.

OPEC said commercial oil inventories in China fell by 4.9 million barrels in June because of an 8 percent decline in imports and 1.4 percent decline in domestic oil production.

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