hina’s oil demand will grow 4.3 percent this year to surpass 11 million barrels per day, compared to 4.8 percent growth last year, the country’s top energy group forecast on Tuesday.
State-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) sees the country’s oil demand rising to 566 million tonnes, or 11.32 million bpd in 2016, some 460,000 bpd higher than last year.
The forecast, in an annual report released by CNPC’s research institute, also put the country’s net crude imports up 7.3 percent this year to 7.14 million bpd.
China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, raised crude imports by nearly 9 percent last year, or an additional 540,000 bpd, largely to boost government and commercial reserves as oil companies took advantage of the nearly 70 percent fall in global benchmark prices from mid-2014 to end-2015.
The CNPC demand forecast was higher than a recent report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) that put growth in China’s demand for oil products in 2016 at 3.1 percent, down from the 5.6 percent growth it estimated for last year.
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