Chinese purchases of foreign crude oil hit a record high of 25.3 million metrics tons in May, up 12.7% from the previous month as international price of oil declined, Bloomberg reported. That translates to 5.98 million barrels a day, up from a previous high of 5.87 million barrels a day in February, according to the General Administration of Customs. Purchases cost an average of US$120 a barrel, compared with about US$123 in April, according to the data. Meanwhile, some refineries boosted processing rates last month after concluding scheduled maintenance. “International crude oil prices have been falling in the past two months, so more crude was probably shipped in to fill commercial and state emergency stockpiles,” said Gong Jinshuang, a Beijing-based senior engineer at China National Petroleum Corp.