Russia surpasses Saudi Arabia as China’s largest oil supplier

Russia has overtaken Saudi Arabia as China’s largest oil supplier, selling discounted crude to Beijing amid sanctions related to the Ukraine war.

Imports of Russian oil increased by 55 percent year on year to a record level in May, displacing Saudi Arabia as China’s largest supplier.

Despite Covid curbs and a slowing economy, China has increased its purchases of Russian oil.

China and Russia declared their friendship had “no bounds” in February.

And Chinese firms, including state-owned Sinopec and state-owned Zhenhua Oil, have increased their purchases of Russian crude in recent months after being offered steep discounts as buyers in Europe and the United States avoided Russian energy due to sanctions related to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

According to Chinese General Administration of Customs data, imports into China totaled nearly 8.42 million tonnes last month, including supplies pumped through the East Siberia Pacific Ocean pipeline and shipments by sea.
That pushed Saudi Arabia – formerly China’s biggest source of crude oil – into second place with 7.82m tonnes.

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