TOKYO, Jan 12 (KUNA) -- China's crude oil imports fell 7.4 percent in December from a year earlier to 33.70 million tons, or 7.97 million barrels a day (bpd), government data showed Friday.
Imports also dropped 12 percent from November's shipments of 9.06 million bpd, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs. For full 2017, crude oil imports gained 10.1 percent from the previous year to 8.43 million bpd.
In 2015, China began to allow local independent refineries, known as "teapot" refiners, to import crude oil as part of its energy reforms. Qualified local refineries are allowed to import crude oil if they cut backward capacity or install natural gas storage facilities. These private refiners are with relatively small capacities, ranging from 20,000 bpd to 100,000 bpd. (end)