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China's crude oil output rises slightly

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BEIJING, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- China's crude oil production increased only 0.6 percent year on year to 17.24 million metric tons in July as the current economic slowdown dampened fuel demand in the country, according to data released by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on Monday.

Chinese oil producers refined 34.16 million metric tons of crude oil, up 1.5 percent year on year, but oil product output increased 4 percent from a year earlier to 21.46 million metric tons, said the NDRC, China's top economic planner.

Meanwhile, the country's consumption of refined oil grew 4.4 percent to 21.86 million metric tons.

The pickup in July failed to make up for a decline in China's domestic crude oil production during the first half of this year, underlying the country's increasing dependence on imports to meet its domestic demand, according to the NDRC data.

The country's crude oil production in the January-July period reached 117.35 million metric tons, down 1.3 percent year on year. Its crude oil imports grew 10.2 percent to 161.9 million metric tons in the first seven months, showed customs data.

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