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Understanding the Crude Oil Price: How Important Is the China Factor?

Xiaoyi Mu and Haichun Ye

Year: 2011
Volume: Volume 32
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol32-No4-5
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Abstract:
This paper employs monthly data on China's net oil import from January 1997 to June 2010 to assess the role of China's net import in the evolution of the crude oil price. Based on a vector autoregression (VAR) analysis, we find that the growth of China's net oil import has no significant impact on monthly oil price changes and there is no Granger causality between the two variables. The historical decomposition indicates that shocks to China's oil demand have only played a small role in the oil price run-up of 2002-2008. We also calculate the price changes implied by China's net oil import growth from a longer-term supply and demand shift perspective.





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