Chinese oil demand in December 2009 increased by 16.1% to 34.52 million tonnes or 8.16 million bpd compared with 29.74 million tonnes in December 2008, according to a new report.

The rise in oil demand has been attributed to the country’s stimulus package and government expenditure on infrastructure, which resulted in massive economic growth, pushing domestic oil consumption, according to Platts.

China’s December growth represented the fourth consecutive month of double-digit yearly growth in apparent oil demand.

The December oil demand, however, was less compared with the November average of 8.22 million bpd.

China’s apparent oil demand for the whole of 2009 was 389.84 million tonnes, an increase of 6.6% on the figure for 2008.

China’s crude processing for December also registered double-digit growth.

In December, 27.72 million tonnes of crude was processed by Chinese refiners, representing a 24.8% rise on the same period in the previous year.

China’s crude imports increased to a record 5.04 million bpd in the last month of 2009 because of stagnant domestic crude production.