BEIJING (Reuters) - China's crude oil demand will grow by 3.4 percent this year to a record of almost 12 million barrels per day (bpd), the country's top state-owned oil producer forecast on Thursday, as refiners in the world's second-biggest oil user ramp up output.
The robust outlook for crude combined with surging vehicle sales in the world's largest auto market boosted oil futures even as the report cautioned that demand growth for products like gasoline and diesel will slow.
Total crude oil consumption will hit 594 million tonnes, or 11.88 million bpd, state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) forecast in an annual report released by its research institute.
Total refinery throughput will rise by 3.3 percent to 557 million tonnes, or 11.2 million bpd, with refiners adding 702,000 bpd of net capacity.
That will help lift crude imports by 5.3 percent to 396 million tonnes, or 7.95 million bpd.
(1 tonne crude = 7.3 barrels)
(Reporting by Muyu Xu and Beijing newsroom; writing by Josephine Mason; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)