China's crude imports disrupt global supply

China's healthy economy in 2000 triggered a "seemingly insatiable demand" for crude oil, causing demand to grow 9% year-over-year.As a result, China's crude imports increased more than 700,000 b/d, implying a crude oil inventory build of 260,000 b/d, or 71 million bbl, the first 9 months of 2000. This build in China's oil inventory, coupled with an improved refinery utilization rate, may explain the so-called "missing" barrels phenomenon currently plaguing global oil demand and supply analysis, according to a report by Credit Suisse First Boston Corp. (CSFB).The analyst noted, "These missing barrels are the difference between calculated demand and supply numbers and reported i...

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