Beijing: China’s imports of crude oil surged 10.8% year-on-year over the first four months of this year due to the country’s growing need for energy to fuel its double-digit GDP growth.
Crude imports jumped to 54.46 million tonnes between January and April this year against 49.15 million tonnes over the same period last year, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) announced.
The report also stated that oil imports for April soared by 23% to a record monthly high of 14.82 million tonnes.
But over the same period, China’s crude exports fell 55% y-o-y to 1.07 million tonnes.
China, the world’s second largest consumer of oil after the US, has seen a rapid increase in oil consumption as its economy has expanded. According to figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics, last year the country consumed over 320 million tonnes of crude oil, up 7.1% on the year before.
A total of 145.18 million tonnes of crude oil — or 45% of the total crude consumption last year — came from imports.
China’s rising demand for oil to feed its fast-growing economy has led to an expansion of its activities in Africa, where over 30% of its crude imports currently come from.
Last year, Angola surpassed Saudi Arabia as China’s leading source of oil imports, accounting for around half the country’s imports from the continent. Sudan is also a major oil partner, supplying around 7% of China’s oil, Xinhua news agency reported.