China increases dependency on Mideast oil

Thursday, November 13, 2003

CHINA INCREASES DEPENDENCY ON MIDEAST OIL LONDON China has increased its dependency on Middle East oil.

Chinese government data reported that Beijing significantly increased its purchase of Middle East crude oil in 2003 as compared to the previous year. China's General Administration of Customs reported that Beijing bought 28.71 million metric tons of crude from the Middle East producers from January through August 2003.

The figure represented a 29.6 percent increase from the same period in 2002. In all, the government said, Middle East oil accounted for 50 percent of China's oil imports.

The government said Saudi Arabia was the leading exporter of crude oil to China., with 9.48 million metric tons for the first eight months of this year, an increase of 34 percent. Riyad was followed by Iran. A recent U.S. congressional report showed a sharp drop in Chinese arms sales to Iran, meant to provide the hard currency for Beijing's military modernization program.

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