Russia remained China’s top oil supplier in July for the third consecutive month, according to data released on Saturday. Independent refiners increased their purchases of discounted supplies and cut shipments from competitors like Angola, Brazil, and Brazil.
According to data from China’s General Administration of Customs, Russian oil imports, which include supplies via the East Siberia Pacific Ocean Pipeline and seaborne shipments from Russia’s Far Eastern ports, reached 7.15 million tonnes in 2017. This is 7.6% more than a year ago.
However, Russian supplies in July were still below May’s record of nearly 2 million barrels per day (bpd). China is Russia’s largest oil purchaser.
The imports from Saudi Arabia, second in rank, rebounded from June. This was the lowest level in over three years at 6.56 million tonnes or 1.54million bpd. However, it is still slightly lower than year-ago.
The year-to-date Russian imports totalled 48.45 Million tonnes. This is 4.4% more than the previous year. However, it still trails behind Saudi Arabia which produced 49.84million tonnes (1% less than the year before).
China’s crude oil imports fell 9.5% in July compared to a year ago. Daily volumes were at their lowest level in four years. Refiners reduced inventories, and domestic fuel demand recovered slower than expected.
Strong Russian purchases pushed out rival supplies from Angola, Brazil, and Brazil which dropped 27% and 58% respectively, year-on-year.
Last month, no imports were reported by Customs from Iran or Venezuela. Since late 2019, state oil companies have avoided buying from Iran or Venezuela out of fear of being subject to secondary U.S. sanctions.
Malaysian imports, which are often used to transfer oil from Iran and Venezuela over the past two years, rose 183% to 3.34 Million tonnes. This is up from June’s 2.65million tonnes.
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