SINGAPORE: China's crude oil imports grew nearly 7% in April from the same month a year earlier, its first rise in three months, although weakening fuel demand due to COVID-19 lockdowns has dampened refinery throughput.

The world's top crude oil buyer imported 43.03 million tonnes last month, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Monday, equivalent to 10.5 million barrels per day (bpd).

That compares with 9.82 million bpd in April 2021 and 10.06 million bpd in March.

Imports during January-April fell 4.8% versus the year-ago period to 170.89 million tonnes, or about 10.4 million bpd.

Natural gas imports last month were 8.09 million tonnes, down from 10.15 million tonnes in April last year. Imports for the January-April period were down 8.9% on the year to 35.87 million tonnes.

(1 tonne = 7.3 barrels for crude oil conversion) (Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Kenneth Maxwell)