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The World's Top Oil Market Is Starting to Lose Its Sheen

  • China demand growth seen slowing as space for stockpiles fills
  • Asia’s biggest buyer also seen reining in private refiners
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Photographer: AFP via Getty Images
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One of the biggest engines soaking up the world’s oil is starting to sputter.

Growth in crude imports by China, the second largest consumer after the U.S., will probably slow by more than 60 percent in 2017, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts including FGE and Energy Aspects Ltd. Private refiners that helped boost purchases to record levels are expected to be constrained by tighter licenses and increased scrutiny on their taxes. At the same time, the current space available for stockpiles may run out.