China passed Japan in May to become the world’s second-largest importer of crude oil, Reuters reported. China imported 118.25 million barrels of crude in May, up 25% from the same period a year ago. Crude imports are expected to receive a boost from Beijing’s decision on June 20 to increase gasoline and diesel prices by up to 18%. Higher fuel prices will encourage oil refiners to import more oil and boost production to make up for existing shortages. China’s crude imports in January-May were up 12.7% from the same period a year ago. The United States remains the world’s largest importer of crude.
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