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10

Chinese Oil Imports Declined

China's crude oil imports fell 24 per cent

China's crude oil imports fell 24 per cent year-on-year to 7.8 million tons in January, the first fall in more than two years, according to analysts and sources from the General Administration of Customs yesterday, the news agency Xinhua reported..

Industry analysts attributed the slump to hefty year-end stockpiles, the high crude price rate on the current international market and factors that might block crude oil transportation.

Due to the high level of crude production and imports last year, China currently has stocks of more than 20 million tons of crude oil, according to industry sources.

"The country's oil refiners will be able to draw on the crude stock to support its operation for a period of time," said Zhang Jian, an oil industry analyst with the Beijing-based China Securities.

Zhang also hinted the current resurging crude oil price on the international market might prompt domestic crude buyers to think twice before placing more orders.