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Exxon Cuts China Energy Demand Growth Forecast

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An investor walks past a digital board showing stock market movements at a brokerage house in Shanghai. Photograph by Johannes Eisele—AFP/Getty Images

China’s economic boom buttressed global oil prices for the past decade. Now, as the country’s economy slows, forecasters say that it will no longer serve the same role.

In a new energy outlook report released Monday, Exxon lowered its forecast for China’s annual energy demand growth to 2.2% through 2025. The report predicted that the country’s energy demand would plateau around 2030, resulting in an annual energy demand growth between 2025 and 2040 of only .2%.

Crude oil prices have plummeted since the summer of 2014, largely due to an oil glut. Those doldrums have been lengthened by poor demand as China shows declining hunger for the commodity.

China accounted for almost half of the global growth in energy demand between 2000 and 2014, according to Exxon (XOM). Now, Exxon predicts that almost half of the world’s global energy demand increase toward 2040 will be driven by China and India together.

Even as China’s economy slows, the report predicts that the country and other fast-growing ones like India will still demand vast amounts of energy as more citizens join the middle class, according to the Wall Street Journal. Altogether, Exxon predicts that global energy demand will increase by one-quarter through 2040.