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Chinese president Xi Jinping. Image courtesy of Hye900711/Wikimedia Commons.

China’s oil demand growth is slated to decline by half a percentage point year-over-year in 2016, according to a report released Thursday by China National Petroleum Corporation.

According to Reuters, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) expects oil demand to grow by 4.3 percent in 2016, down from 4.8 percent last year.

In a report released by its research institute, state-owned CNPC forecast that China’s oil demand will grow to about 11.32 million barrels per day this year, a 460,000 bpd jump over last year.

An analysis performed by Reuters found that implied oil demand in China grew 3.1 percent last year to 10.63 million bpd.

The CNPC report anticipates net crude imports to grow by 7.3 percent in 2016 to 7.14 million bpd while apparent natural gas consumption is also expected to rise by 7.3 percent this year to 205 billion cubic meters per day, Retuers said.

Refinery capacity is expected to grow 1.3 percent to 14.4 million bpd with throughput jumping 5.3 percent to 10.98 million bpd, Reuters added.

Low demand and slowing economic growth in China has been weighing on global crude prices.

Brent crude was trading at $34.41 per barrel around 10 a.m. Friday morning, down from $49.13 per barrel last year.

Saudi Aramco is reportedly hosting advanced stage talks with Sinopec and China’s CNPC to discuss the possibility of more projects that could include refinery projects in China, the Wall Street Journal said.

“We are hoping that Aramco will expand its investments in the refining, marketing and petrochemicals sectors,” Saudi Aramco chairman Khalid al-Falih told the paper.