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Crude Oil Import Volume Up 11% in 1st Half

China, the world's second-largest energy consumer, imported 11 percent more crude oil in the first half of 2008 than in the year-earlier period.

Crude imports stood at 90.53 million tons, the General Administration of Customs said on Thursday. The growth rate was down 0.2 percentage points from last year.

The imports were valued at US$64.98 billion, up 85.8 percent, as world prices surged. Import prices hit a record high of US$849.10 per ton in June.

Angola, Saudi Arabia, and Iran were the top three oil suppliers.

China also imported 21.01 million tons of refined oil products in the first half, up 16.4 percent year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the country exported 2.37 million tons of crude and 7.88 million tons of refined products, up 30.6 percent and down 0.3 percent, respectively, from a year earlier.

The administration suggested that the government act to ease the increasingly direct and large impact of oil prices on the economy. It said that further measures were needed to curb oil exports and reform the fuel pricing system gradually to ensure domestic supply.

(Xinhua News Agency July 11, 2008)

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