Saudi Arabia keeps position as China’s main crude supplier

Saudi Arabia retained for nine straight months until August its position as China’s top crude supplier, Reuter reports.

Saudi oil arrivals surged 53 percent from a year earlier to 8.06 million tons, or 1.96 million barrels per day (bpd), data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Monday, the agency notes.

The world largest oil exporters sent to China 1.58 million bpd in July and 1.24 million bpd in August last year.

The kingdom dominates Russia whose oil exports to China stood at 6.53 million tons in August, or 1.59 million bpd, flat versus 1.56 million bpd in July.

The gap, Reuters notes, was due to Beijing’s decision to slash crude oil import quotas to its independent refiners, who favor Russia’s ESPO blend. Crude oil arrivals from Malaysia according to the agency more than doubled from year-ago levels to 1.75 million tons, with traders saying refiners might have rebranded Venezuelan heavy oil previously passed on as bitumen blend into Malaysian crude after Beijing imposed hefty import taxes on blending fuels.

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