China’s crude oil imports from Russia have hit a new record of 1.24mb/d, up 33.7% from 2015, according to data from the Chinese General Administration of Customs, reported Reuters. China’s previous record of Russian supplies was registered in April 2016, when it imported 1.17mb/d, according to additional reports by Reuters.
With the new record, Russia has outshined Saudi Arabia as China’s largest oil supplier for the third consecutive month, and for the first time on a cumulative basis. For the first five months of 2016, Russian imports have been 41.8% higher than a year ago at 1.06mb/d, while the Saudi Arabian imports have averaged 1.05mb/d. In May, shipments from second-ranking supplier Saudi Arabia grew 33.6% over the year-ago level, however, amounted to around 961,000b/d, the data showed.
Imports from Tehran rose 19.5% compared to a year ago to about 619,300b/d.
A senior China-based trader, that frequently deals with global independent plants, was quoted as saying that “Russian oil remains the teapots’ top pick, suiting them in the way that teapots’ throughput planning was often shorter-term that requires prompt deliveries.”