Oil Falls from Record High on China Demand Worries

From the U.K. Guardian:

Oil fell from a record high over $126 a barrel on Monday as a dip in crude oil imports into No. 2 consumer China stirred concerns high prices were eating into demand. . . .

China’s April crude oil imports decreased against year-ago levels, the first monthly year-on-year decline in 18 months, although analysts said the dip was a one-off adjustment as refiners ran down stocks after unusually high March purchases.

“This looks like a bit of a correction on a vastly overbought market,” said Mike Zarembski, senior commodities analyst for optionsXpress. “News that China’s imports were down in April was a factor for some of the money to come off the table, but the market is still robust.”

See also the United Press International’s brief article on China’s oil needs:

. . . China has one of the fastest-growing economies, and thus its need for fuel is sky-rocketing as well. To ensure its security, China has been seeking reserves and importing much of its fuel, the Daily Star in Lebanon reported.

In recent years 40 percent to 50 percent of the oil that China consumes has been imported, and of that 60 percent comes from the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar and Sudan.

To make up for its needs and decrease its imports, China has been investing in exploration and new fields. At the end of March 2007, China announced that a new oil field with an estimated reserve of 2.2 billion barrels had been found in Bohai Bay. The daily output is expected to reach 200,000 barrels in three years. At present, the oil yielded in China satisfies about 50 percent of domestic need.

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