Tue, 08 Mar 2005


China 'not to blame' for high oil prices

BEIJING: Arguments that China's soaring energy consumption is a factor behind crude oil prices rising to record highs are groundless, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said, adding that the stronger demand was being met by domestic production.

"Although China's energy import has increased a little bit over the past two years, its imports only account for about 6 percent of the world's total traded oil," Li told a news conference during the annual meeting of China's parliament.

Analysts often cite rising demand from China as one reason for the surge in crude oil prices last year. Prices peaked at US$55.67 a barrel in October. In New York, crude oil futures settled above $53 in trading last week.

China consumes about 2.45 million barrels of crude oil a day. -- AP