The International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday that China's oil consumption this year may be lower than expected due to the first quarter' snowstorm and shortage of diesel supply.

IEA cuts China's daily oil demand in 2008 to 7.9 million barrels, 7 million barrels lower than below its earlier forecast.

The new forecast shows that China's oil demand in 2008 still increased 4.7 percent when compared with that in 2007. Taking into account the fuel supply shortages and the uncertainty factors brought by the Olympic Games, IEA may once again assess the above projection.

The shortage of diesel supply means that backlog demand remains high, the agency said. As long as there is adequate supply, China's oil demand is likely to increase substantially.

During the Olympic Games, China's transport industry will increase dramatically the demand on fuel as tourists, spectators and athletes fly into China and go to venues in various parts and travel, IEA added.

China's customs data announced on Friday that the oil imports in March an increased 25 percent when compared with the same period last year.