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China to be oil importer No1

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Staff writer |
China carChina will become the world's largest oil importer by October and will hold the No.1 spot through 2014, according the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

China's net oil imports in October which are expected to top 6.45 million barrels a day will exceed the US level by 3.5 percent, or nearly 215,000 barrels a day, said the EIA.

The rapid surge is driven by the country's subdued supply which will rise by just over 80,000 barrels a day while its demands for oil will rise 2 percent year-on-year to top 11 million barrel a day for the first time in October.

China and the US almost reached parity on net imports at around 6 million barrels a day last December, the EIA said.

China's net imports are expected to rise 6.1 percent to 6.57 million barrels a day in 2014, surpassing the US by 18 percent or 1 million barrels a day. EIA also estimated the US net imports to drop 12 percent to 5.57 million barrels a day, the lowest since 1986.

Once China replaces the US as the world's largest oil importer, the gap between net oil imports in China and the US will grow, as suggested by higher US oil production and stagnant or declining oil consumption, coupled with China's strong oil demand growth and slow oil production growth.

China's official statistics showed oil imports soared to a record high of 6.15 million barrels a day, 14 percent higher from a month earlier.

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