BEIJING: China’s crude oil imports in August grew 3.4 percent from a year earlier to a nine-month low of 33.98 million, or 8.04 million barrels a day (bpd), latest government data showed. It was the lowest level since November 2016 on daily basis, when the country imported 7.91 million bpd, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs.
Crude oil imports by the world’s second-largest oil consumer in the January-August period grew rose 12.7 percent on daily basis from the same period of 2016 to 8.48 million bpd. In 2015, China began to allow local independent refineries, known as “teapot” refiners, to import crude oil as part of its energy reforms. Qualified local refineries are allowed to import crude oil if they cut backward capacity or install natural gas storage facilities. These private refiners are with relatively small capacities, ranging from 20,000 bpd to 100,000 bpd.