Demand for oil in China slipped 2.7 percent in May

Heavy traffic passes Tiananmen Square outside the opening session of the Chinese Communist Party's five-yearly Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 8, 2012. The week-long congress, held every five years, will end with a transition of power to Vice President Xi Jinping, who will govern for the coming decade amid growing pressure for reform of the communist regime's iron-clad grip on power. AFP PHOTO / Ed JonesEd Jones/AFP/Getty Images
Demand for oil in China has fallen as the country’s economic activity has slowed. AFP PHOTO / Ed JonesEd Jones/AFP/Getty Images

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.

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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.