Apparent oil demand, a reflection of how much oil goes into domestic refineries combined with net oil product imports, decreased 2.1 percent in July year-on-year. From June, apparent oil demand dropped 6.2 percent to 9.61 million barrels per day.
"The weakness in China's oil demand reflects the ongoing slowdown in its economy," James Bourne, Platts associate editorial director for Asia news, said in an emailed statement.
That's in contrast to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which said in its latest monthly oil market report Chinese oil demand should increase another 3.8 percent during the fourth quarter of the year.
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.