China's reliance on imported oil continued to rise, absorbing 76 million tons of crude in the first eight months of 2004, official statistics showed. Imported oil accounted for 40% of consumption from January to August, 6% more than the same period in 2003. Oil imports for 2004 are expected to hit 100 million tons as demand continues to grow. Officials say inefficient use of oil had increased reliance on imports. Citing Standardization Administration data, Xinhua said Chinese cars, buses and trucks use 25% more petrol per 100 km than those in Europe, 20% more than in Japan and 10% more than in the US.