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China crude oil imports rose to a record 6.25 million barrels per day (bpd) in September, up 27 percent from a year earlier and beating July’s previous record of 6.15 million bpd, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

But China’s implied oil demand fell 1.8 percent in September from a year earlier to 9.61 million bpd, its first year-on-year decline in 17 months.

Implied demand — refinery throughput plus net fuel imports — hit a one-year low in August of 9.38 million bpd.

Chia’s crude imports for the first nine months of the year have averaged 5.64 million bpd, up 310,000 bpd or 5.8 percent for the same period last year.

Product exports were about 571,000 bpd for the first nine months of the year, a gain of 20 percent, or about 97,000 bpd.

Imports are up 5.2 per cent to the equivalent of about 814,000 bpd, with big gains in naphtha at 36 percent and petroleum coke at 46 percent.

In the nine months to September, 355.81 tonnes of crude were processed, a rate that if maintained would result in a total of 474 million tonnes for the whole of 2013.