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#Geoeconomics, Russia was China’s top oil supplier for the twelfth month in April

China’s oil imports from Russia rise, while Saudi Arabia’s fall due to higher prices, impacting global oil market

Russia was China’s top oil supplier in April for a 12th month, with volumes rising 30% from a year earlier, official data showed, as refiners continued to cash in on discounted shipments, while supplies from Saudi Arabia fell a quarter on higher prices.

China’s crude-oil imports from Russia were 9.26 million metric tonne last month. File | Photo Credit: Reuters

China’s crude-oil imports from Russia, which include supplies sent via pipelines and the sea, were 9.26 million metric tonne last month, or 2.25 million barrels per day (bpd), according to data from the General Administration of Customs.

That is down from March’s 2.55 million bpd and the record in June 2023 of 2.56 million bpd.

In April, Russia cut its crude supply by 1,50,000 bpd to 9.3 million bpd, according to the IEA’s monthly oil market report. That was still 2,00,000 bpd above the production target it agreed to with other major producers.

Saudi imports

Imports from Saudi Arabia, which was last China’s biggest supplier in April 2023, were 6.34 million tons, or 1.54 million bpd, down 25% from a year earlier. The kingdom had raised April selling price for oil to Asia to $1.70 a barrel above the Oman/Dubai average, up from $1.50 previously.

Imports from Malaysia, a key transhipment hub for oil from Iran and Venezuela, held largely steady year-on-year at about 9,80,000 barrels per day.

A U.S. official appeared to raise some concerns about the transhipments during a visit to Singapore and Malaysia this month by noting that Iran’s capacity to move its oil is reliant on service providers based in Malaysia, with oil being transferred near Singapore and throughout the region.

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