HOUSTON – Oil demand in China slipped 2.7 percent in May as the world’s second-largest energy consumer reduced imports, after growing steadily each month this year, S&P Global Platts said Tuesday.
The country’s oil demand declined to 10.88 million barrels a day as economic activity softened and refineries used 4.3 percent less crude compared with the month before. Imports of oil dropped 41 percent compared with the same month last year.
Before the tumble in May, China’s oil demand had grown by more than 300,000 barrels a day from January to April, according to government data.
China’s appetite for oil could “moderate significantly,” Platts said, growing less than 2 percent this year as Chinese gross domestic product has slipped from 6.8 percent in the final quarter of 2015 to 6.7 percent in the first quarter of 2016.