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Crude Oil Imports Down 20% in October
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China's imports of crude oil dropped by 3.8 percent from a year ago to 10.82 million tons in October, according to statistics provided by the General Administration of Customs.

The decline came after monthly imports hit a record high of 13.46 million tons in September, with a month-on-month drop of nearly 20 percent.

According to statistics, China imported 120.07 million tons of crude oil in the first ten months, up 14.1 percent on the same period last year.

Crude oil imports cost China over US$56 billion, up 43.8 percent on the January-October period of last year.

Niu Li, an analyst with the State Information Center, said that higher stocks after the sharp rise of imports in September led to the October decline.

Expectations of a further drop in the international oil price may be another factor contributing to less imports, said Niu.

Customs authorities said China imported 31.86 million tons of refined oil products in the first ten months, up 24 percent from a year ago.

China's exports of crude oil dropped 12.5 percent to 5.09 million tons in the first ten months and exports of refined oil were down 17.6 percent to 9.99 million tons.

China's output of crude oil reached 153.38 million tons in the first ten months of this year, 1.5 percent up on the same period of last year, according to statistics issued by the Economic Operation Bureau of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Output of gasoline and diesel oil went up by 3.3 percent and 5.2 percent in the ten-month period.

(Xinhua News Agency November 30, 2006)

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