China's oil import may rise 29 % this year

Oct 12, 2005 02:00 AM

China's crude oil import bill may rise 29 % this year due to higher global prices and increasing fuel demand in the world's fastest-growing economy, figures from the commerce ministry indicate. China may spend $ 10 bn more importing oil as shipments of the fuel reach about 140 mm tons, the ministry said. The largest oil consumer after the United States, China imported 122.7 mm tons of oil last year at a cost of $ 33.9 bn.
"International oil prices have remained at high levels and may rise further," the ministry said. "Rising oil prices may bring some disadvantages to the nation's economy. We're using more foreign exchange to pay for the oil."

China spent an average $ 56 a barrel to import oil in august, an increase of 44.6 % from a year earlier, according to the ministry. That was the highest monthly average this year, it said. Higher global oil prices are increasing costs for Chinese fuel manufacturers, chemicals producers and transportation companies, the ministry said.
At the same time, increased demand is causing the supply of energy prices to be tight, it said.

The Chinese government is encouraging domestic companies to secure oil and gas supplies locally and abroad as energy prices reach record highs.

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