Angola beat out Saudi Arabia and Russia in July to become China’s largest crude supplier for the first time in 2016, as the Asian country’s import amounted to 1.11mb/d of Angolan crude, marking a surge of 23.3% over the same period last year, Business Recorder reported.
For the first seven months of 2016, Angolan imports rose 18% to almost 920,000 b/d, the third-largest supplier on a daily volume basis, which was lifted by robust buying by Chinese independent refiners.
Demand for Angolan oil has surged as teapots scooped up volumes to take advantage of Angolan oil’s lower premium versus the Brent benchmark compared to Russian grade ESPO’s premium and to Middle East benchmark Dubai, according to a Beijing-based trader, cited by Toinnov.
According to the trader, “independent refiners would favor Angolan oil over ESPO due to the oil’s higher yield of lighter oil products.”
In comparison, Chinese crude supply from Saudi Arabia fell 4.2% on year to 948 b/d in July, down from 1.2 mb/d in June.