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China's oil demand relatively flat

Platts reports 'stagnant economic recovery' in China.

By Daniel J. Graeber
China's oil demand relatively flat
Chinese industrial performance slows to result in lower crude oil imports. UPI/Stephen Shaver | License Photo

HOUSTON, May 28 (UPI) -- Chinese oil demand in April declined nearly a full percentage point from March because of lackluster industrial activity, the Platts energy news service said.

Platts used government data to show apparent oil demand, a measure of crude oil at domestic refineries plus net imports, rose in April by 1.4 percent year-on-year to 9.75 million barrels per day. The year-on-year increase for April was 0.5 percent higher than reported for March, though on a monthly basis, apparent oil demand in April declined 0.7 percent from the previous month.

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Song Yen Ling, a senior writer for China for the energy news service, said in a statement Tuesday the decline was in part because of a slowdown in the Chinese economy.

"On a year-over-year basis, China's oil products imports have been significantly lower since the second half of 2013 as demand growth remains sluggish amid stagnant economic recovery," she said.

The World Bank said growth in China's gross domestic product averaged about 10 percent a year since the government embraced a market-based economy in the late 1970s, though it will be a significant challenge to sustain that level of growth.

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Since the beginning of the year, Platts reported China's apparent oil demand was "essentially flat."

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