China's crude oil imports fell 6.0 percent in May from a year earlier to 23.95 million tons, or 5.67 million barrels a day (bpd), latest government data showed.
However, the General Administration of Customs indicated that shipments in May grew 3.8 percent from April's 23.08 million tons (5.64 million bpd), adding that China imported 116.00 million tons (5.63 million bpd) in the first five months of this year, which is down 2.0 percent from the same period of 2012.
Last year, China's dependence rates on imports of crude oil and natural gas stood at 56.6 percent and 29.0 percent, respectively, posing severe challenges for the country's energy security, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported in May.
Furthermore, China was the world's largest energy user in 2012 as over 60 percent of the power driving China's economy comes from coal, while oil and natural gas accounted for roughly 20 percent of the energy consumption, it said.
In the same context, the Ministry of Land and Resources has forecasted that China will see its energy demand peak between 2030 and 2035 on the back of expanding industrialization and urbanization, with its energy consumption growing at an annualized pace of 4.5 percent in the next 20 years.