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China's oil demand to slow as it enters new era

Shifts in China’s economy mean the days of fast-paced consumption growth are nearing an end

For the past decade, China’s booming economy has been the engine of global oil demand growth. From 2003 to 2012, the country accounted for two-thirds of all new crude consumption, adding an average of 0.5m barrels per day (b/d), around 5%, every year. In 2014, demand was 10.4m b/d, more than twice what it was at the turn of the century. China surpassed the US as the world’s largest oil importer in April, buying up 7.4m b/d in the month. But after a decade of surging demand that has made China the world’s most important buyer, the country’s oil consumption is undergoing an important shift. Oil demand grew by just 270,000 b/d, or around 2.7% last year, the slowest rate of expansion in more th

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