21.07.2021 – 13:54
Saudi Arabia remained China’s only largest supplier of crude oil in June, ahead of Russia, although Saudi shipments to the world’s top oil importer fell 19% last month amid lower overall imports.
In June 2021, China imported 1.75 million barrels per day (bpd) of Saudi crude oil, China’s General Administration of Customs said on Tuesday. That volume was higher than crude oil imports of 1.62 million bpd from Russia, keeping the Kingdom ahead of Russia as China’s main oil supplier for eight months, according to data cited by Reuters.
Customs data in China showed that local refiners did not import any crude material from Iran or Venezuela, two OPEC members under US sanctions restricting their oil exports.
Unofficially, however, China continues to import oil from Iran, often disguised as coming from other countries, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), according to previous Reuters reports.
China has put the brakes on total crude oil imports in recent months, due to rising oil prices and a government crackdown on the operations of several independent refineries.
China’s crude oil imports fell to about 9.77 million bpd in June, down 2% in May and the lowest monthly level since the beginning of the year, customs data quoted by Reuters showed last week.
During the first half of the year, China imported 260.66 million tonnes gross, or 10.51 million bpd for Reuters estimates. This was a decrease of 3% compared to the first half of 2020. The figure of the first half increased with the increase of imports from independent refiners.
However, since the first quarter, Beijing has begun to hit teapots, as fuel production at both independent refineries and large state-owned companies was rising faster than demand, undermining refining limits and creating a surplus.
Translated and adapted for Konica.al by RT