TOKYO, Feb 15 (KUNA) -- China's crude oil imports rose 5.1 percent in January from a year earlier to 42.60 million tons, or 10.08 million barrels a day (bpd), Chinese government data showed Thursday.
Volume of crude oil shipments to China surpassed the 10-millon bpd threshold for the third month in a row, following the all-time high of 10.47 million bpd in November and 10.36 million bpd in December, according to the General Administration of Customs.
China is the world's biggest crude oil importer followed by the US and Japan, with the Middle East the largest source of its crude oil imports.
In 2015, the country 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)