Latest statistics from the Customs General Administration show China imported 63.42 mln tons of crude oil in the first half of 2005, a year-on-year increase of 3.9 percent. China spent US$ 15.169 bln on oil import, a year-on-year rise of 42.2 percent. The import of oil products decreased 21 percent to 15.7 mln tons, but the money spent on oil products increased 0.8 percent to US$ 4.5 bln.
In 2004 China spent US$ 43.16 bln on importing crude oil and oil products. In the first half of this year the amount reached US$ 26.1 bln, and the figure for the whole year is expected to exceed US$ 50 bln.
Oil consumption in China has been growing owing to China's rapid economic growth and continuous rise of people's living standards. The crude oil import has been skyrocketing since 1993 when China became a net oil importer. China's oil import exceeded 100 mln tons in 2003 for the first time, making China 36.1 percent dependant on oil import.
According to analysts with the Customs General Administration, China imported 120 mln tons of crude oil, and 37.88 mln tons of oil products in 2004. Deducting the oil exports, China imported more than 150 mln tons of crude oil and oil products, approaching China's oil output in the year. China has become more than 40 percent dependant on imported oil and the degree of dependence is still growing.
Huge oil import poses great pressure on trade balance. China reported an oil deficit of US$ 20.29 bln in 2003. The deficit increased to US$ 37.88 bln in 2004 and the figure is expected to go beyond US$ 40 bln in 2005.
By People's Daily Online