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China Imports More and More Saudi Oil

Friday 26 June 2020

BEIJING, SINGAPORE (Reuters) — China’s crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia nearly doubled in May from a year earlier to all-time high as refineries snapped up cheap fuel, while the kingdom retained its position as the top supplier to the world’s biggest oil buyer.

According to the data, in a context of severe US sanctions, imports of Iranian oil have reached a record low (-76%), while those from Venezuela have been zero,

Arrivals from Saudi last month reached 9.165 mln tonnes, or 2.16 mln barrels per day (bpd), up about 95% from 1.11 mln bpd in May 2019 and up 71% from 1.26 mln bpd in April, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

Chinese refineries have cranked up throughput to meet a recovery in fuel demand, but have also been increasing crude storage to take advantage of cheap prices after the coronavirus pandemic roiled global demand. Energy consultancy Kpler estimated China’s crude storage has reached an all-time high of 782 mln barrels, with the country’s total capacity 61% full.

Below are details of imports from key suppliers:

Country May (tonnes) y/y change Jan-May (tonnes) y/y change
Saudi Arabia
9,164,983
94.9%
36,276,523
20.8%
Russia
7,707,716
21.3%
35,983,837
17.8%
Iraq
6,962,504
54.7%
27,178,178
41.5%
Oman
3,243,765
-1.8%
15,335,328
12.4%
Angola
2,926,383
-21.4%
16,633,435
-20.0%
Malaysia
1,006,532
-27.0%
7,210,039
120.0%
U.S.
549,839
-30.0%
549,839
-59.2%
Iran
256,813
-76.0%
1,006,532
-90.0%
Venezuela
0
-
0
-

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