China, The World’s Energy Engine Is Slowing – Bloomberg

China’s imports of crude oil, coal and natural gas slowed in July, offering no solace for producers hoping demand from the world’s largest energy consumer may help mop up global gluts of the fuels.The nation imported about 7.35 million barrels a day last month, the slowest pace since January, according to data Monday from the General Administration of Customs. Inbound shipments of coal slipped 2.5 percent from June, while natural gas slumped more than 13 percent.The July data reflects sluggish economic growth in the world’s second-largest economy and contrasts with the country’s rising energy imports in the first six months, which added some support to global prices. During that period, crude purchases jumped 14 percent and coal rose 8.2 percent as domestic users turned to cheaper overseas supplies as domestic production shrank. Natural gas shipments increased 23 percent during the first half of the year.“China’s strong appetite for crude oil and coal certainly boosted global prices in the first half of the year,” Guo Chaohui, an analyst at Beijing-based China International Capital Corp., said by phone. “However, we think China’s support for oil prices is weakening because of high domestic stockpiles and sluggish demand for oil products.”

Source: The World’s Energy Engine Is Slowing – Bloomberg

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