Sun, Jul 17, 2005 - Page 10 News List

EIA may cut demand forecast for China

AP , NEW YORK

With evidence of a sharp slowdown in China's oil demand growth mounting, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) is considering lowering its forecast of the country's oil consumption for the second time in three months.

The EIA, the statistics arm of the US Department of Energy, which last month lowered its estimate of Chinese oil demand growth by 100,000 barrels a day to 700,000 barrels a day, is likely to cut it again by at least another 100,000 barrels a day. The change could come as early as next month when the agency releases its next monthly energy market outlook.

"If this is what it is, then we'll need to adjust down a little here," said EIA analyst Lowell Feld, referring to recent Chinese government data showing a sharp drop in the country's oil imports. "I'd argue for a downward revision of 100,000 barrels a day."

The EIA has long had one of the more bullish outlooks on Chinese oil demand, even as a string of data released in recent months have pointed to slowing Chinese imports of oil.

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