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China's oil imports plummet 20% for 2nd straight month in July

Beijing cutting oil supplies to dirty refineries in provincial areas

Oil storage tanks in China's Guangdong Province: The government has started releasing part of its oil stockpile to curb inflation.    © AP

TOKYO -- China's oil imports are plunging as Beijing cuts supplies to dirty local oil refineries. Oil shipments to the world's largest crude importer fell 20% in both June and July, year-on year, mainly because the government is reducing import quotas for independent refineries that fail to meet environmental standards.

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