Russia has outrun Saudi Arabia as the largest crude oil supplier to China in November, reported Reuters.
According to the General Customs Administration, China imported 949,925 b/d of Russian crude in November, while only 886,950 b/d came from Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia was the top supplier for the first eleven months of 2015 exporting in total 1.01mb/d, up 2.1% year on year. In the same period, Russia expanded its exports by 28%, supplying 822,200 b/d.
Russian freight costs are cheaper by comparison with suppliers from outside the Asia-Pacific region. At the same time, traders have complained about Saudi Arabia’s rigid allocation system and destination restrictions on contracts. However, Riyadh has extended its annual crude oil contracts with China for 2016.
According to Bloomberg, Russia has been successfully pushing up oil production despite the dampening effect of low oil prices on investments. Russia’s export has increased as investments from 2011 have made its refineries more efficient and the improvements have reduced domestic demand for crude oil, freeing volumes for exports.