China's thirst for oil continued to grow in 2004, pushing oil imports up by 35% for the year, to 120m tons, customs statistics revealed. With national output failing to keep pace with demand, analysts said oil imports accounted for 41% of consumption. According to estimates from the State Information Center late last year, consumption was expected to hit the 300m ton mark for the whole of 2004, up from 250m tons in 2003. One analyst told Bloomberg she expected 2005 imports to rise 18 %, to 142 million tons, accounting for about 43% of consumption.
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