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BEIJING: China’s crude oil imports fell in April to the lowest level since January, customs data showed on Tuesday, as the country’s post-COVID economic rebound slowed amid a weaker global macroeconomic backdrop.

Crude imports in April totalled 42.41 million tonnes, or 10.3 million barrels per day (bpd), according to data from the General Administration of Customs. That was down 1.45% from the 10.5 million bpd of crude imported in April last year.

China’s manufacturing rebound has been tempered by the effects of slowing demand from its international export partners amid ongoing recessionary fears, as well as its own domestic property slowdown.

Oil prices dip in cautious trade ahead of US inflation data

The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped to 49.2 in April from 51.9 in March, falling below market expectations and the 50-point mark that separates expansion from contraction for the first time since December.

Slower economic activity has put the brakes on refined fuel demand, particularly for diesel.

China imported 8.98 million tonnes of natural gas in April, up 11% from 8.09 million tonnes a year ago.

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