The latest dip in oil prices below $40 a barrel is good news for Asia’s motorists, but it stands to boost the already-growing reliance of China and other big crude consumers on imported oil, according to The Wall Street Journal. Low oil prices have sent China’s oil imports soaring to record levels in recent months—the country now rivals the U.S. as the world’s top importer—and the continuing price decline will keep those imports elevated, analysts say. China’s daily crude imports this year should come to 7.4 million barrels, said Song Yen Ling, an analyst with S&P Global Platts, up 10% from last year’s 6.7 million. However, growth in Chinese oil demand is slowing, and so much of the imports are going to reserves, or being refined and re-exported.
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