China set to become world’s biggest net oil importer

Updated 18 August 2013
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China set to become world’s biggest net oil importer

BEIJING: China is set to overtake the US as the world’s largest net oil importer from October, according to US figures, due to a combination of rising Chinese demand and increased US production.
Next year, China’s net oil imports will exceed those of the US on an annual basis and the gap between them will continue to widen, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.
China is already the biggest energy user in the world and the second-largest oil consumer after the US.
The shift has been driven by steady growth in Chinese demand, increased oil production in the US, and stagnant or weakening demand in the US market, the EIA said in a report.
A graph on the EIA’s website shows China’s net imports steadily rising, with those of the US falling at a faster rate, and says the crossover point comes in two months’ time.
Growing petroleum production in the US has been largely driven by the increasing use of sometimes controversial hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking.
The technique uses huge amounts of pressurised water mixed with chemicals to crack open rock and release oil and natural gas, making the exploitation of vast shale hydrocarbon reserves economically viable.
It is changing the world’s energy market but it has been banned in other countries such as France due to environmental concerns.
US annual oil output is expected to rise 28 percent between 2011 and 2014 to nearly 13 million barrels per day, while Chinese production is forecast to grow by six percent over the period, and will stand at just a third of US production in 2014, the EIA said.
Meanwhile, China’s liquid fuel use will increase 13 percent over the period to more than 11 million barrels per day while US demand hovers close to 18.7 million barrels per day.
That is below the United States’ peak consumption level of 20.8 million barrels per day in 2005, the EIA added.
China imported 26.11 million tons (186.5 million barrels) of crude oil last month and its exports were a mere 0.17 million tons, according to official Beijing figures.
The Asian country’s ascendence to the top of the world’s net oil import rankings will have profound impact, an article carried by the China Business News said on Monday.
“China and the US will no longer be pure competitors in the energy sector — China is likely to import energy in bulk from the US,” wrote commentator Li Dongchao.
“The (rising) independence of US energy will support the rejuvenation of US manufacturing, which will renew competition with Chinese manufacturing,” Li said.
“Improving the safety and operational efficiency of the energy industry is a must for ensuring China’s energy and economic security.”


World Cup football fakes keep Dubai’s ‘Dolce & Karama’ traders busy

Updated 11 min 13 sec ago
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World Cup football fakes keep Dubai’s ‘Dolce & Karama’ traders busy

  • Dubai's “Dolce and Karama” is the emirate's copycat capital
  • Neymar Jr shirts are proving especially popular with local shoppers

DUBAI: Tucked away in an old residential district and far from Dubai’s glitzy air-conditioned malls, the Karama area of the city is doing a roaring trade in selling World Cup football shirts.

But if you’re looking for the genuine article, you may have come to the wrong place.

Karama is Dubai's copycat capital where the knockoff imitations of the world's most famous fashion brands are sold for a fraction of the genuine price.

Known to some locals jokingly by the epithet “Dolce and Karama,” a play on the Dolce & Gabbana Italian fashion house, this is a place where if you have to ask the price, you probably can afford it.

With three weeks to go until football’s new world champions are crowned, the world’s biggest sporting tournament is keeping the tills chiming on the street that has become notorious for selling everything from fake Luis Vuitton bags to knockoff Ray-Ban sunglasses.

However since the tournament kicked off just over a week ago, it’s been football not fashion, that has put a smile on the face of traders.

Retailing for a fraction of their high-street cost, the copycat shirts — especially those bearing the name of Brazilian superstar Neymar — are flying off the stalls less than week into the tournament, as UAE-based fans who want to don the colors of their favorite team or player, look for bargains.

Mohammad Ashraf has been trading in Dubai’s Karama Shopping Complex for 15 years.

At his store, Mina Fashion, Ashraf said the World Cup has brought a booming trade.

When asked how many shirts he would sell prior to the Fifa World Cup, he shrugged.

“Maybe one, two — maximum five a day,” he said.

But the Indian trader has quadrupled his business since last week’s kick-off.

“Now, we have been very busy,” he said. “We sell at least 20 pieces a day — maybe more,” he said.

His football shirts are a fraction of the cost of the genuine article on sale in Dubai malls where retailers are feeling the pressure from the growth of online rivals, the introduction of VAT and the strong dollar to which the UAE dirham is pegged — that is hitting tourist spending hard.

Karama football shirts sell for about 65 dirhams ($18) in adult size and 55 dirhams for children. But the real deal costs three or four times as much a few miles down the road in the Dubai Mall, the city’s biggest tourist draw.

In Karama, the football shirts of the Brazil, Argentina and Germany teams have been among the biggest sellers.

And the most popular player?

Ashraf said shirts bearing the name of Brazilian footballer Neymar da Sila Santos Junior have been flying off the shelves.

Abdulla Javid, runs Nujoom Al Maleb in the Karama shopping district — a shop selling a variety of knock-off sportswear — including World Cup shirts for men, youths and children.

“They are not real, not branded — branded ones are very expensive,” he said.

“We have shirts for Germany, for Argentina, for Portugal, for Sweden, for Brazil and for Belgium,” he said, pointing to racks of multi-colored football shirts.

Mens shirts retail for about 45 dirhams for adult sizes in his shop and 40 dirhams for youths. For young children, he sells shirts and shorts for a combined price of 30 dirhams.

The World Cup has also been a welcome boom for business.

“Before we sell maybe between five to 10 (shirts) a day,” he said. “Now, at least 20 to 30 pieces a day. It has been very busy. This time is a good time for us.”

Also at Karama Shopping Complex is Zico Sports.

Ahmed Jaber, a 53-year-old trader, said there are good deals to be found in at the shop he has worked in since the 1980s.

He sells football shirts that are both “branded” and “non-branded” — in other words the genuine article and cheaper knock-offs.

He said customers have been happy to shell out for the genuine football shirts for the adult sizes — which he sells for 379 dirhams, but for children, shoppers prefer to buy the fake football shirts, which he sells for about 30 dirhams.

The most popular shirts since the start of World Cup have been for Brazil, Argentina and France, he said, but his shops have an abundance of kit for all competing countries.

When he asked how the 2018 World Cup had been for business, he laughed.

“Not bad at all!,” he said.