China’s oil demand growth is expected to drop to 3% in 2016 reflecting on the country’s economic slowdown, despite lowering oil prices, Bloomberg reported. According to Barclays’ analysts, oil demand rise is estimated at merely 300,000b/d this year, compared to 510,000b/d in 2015. In November, China’s oil demand fell by 2%, compared to the same month in 2014, and its consumption growth turned negative, OilPrice added.

According to Forbes, Beijing is unlikely to remain a decisive factor in boosting global oil prices as its fuel oil has been structurally weak, due to a decline in industrial usage. China is, however, projecting a more optimistic outlook. China’s industry association insists that oil demand is expected to rise 4.9% to 11.37mb/d this year, Reuters informed, as crude oil imports for strategic petroleum reserves may receive a boost from small refineries.

In related news, Chinese oil companies are pushing to create new opportunities to feed a growing trend in gasoline consumption by launching digital platforms for consumers to start buying fuel speculatively for later use, Reuters wrote.