Saudi Arabia beats Russia in race for China oil supply

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Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, beat Russia, maintaining its ranking as China’s largest crude supplier in 2020, Chinese government data showed on Wednesday.

Data from the General Administration of Chinese Customs showed that Saudi oil shipments to China have increased by 1.9 per cent in 2020, amounting to 84.92 million tonnes, or about 1.69 million barrels per day compared to the previous year.

Meanwhile, Russia came in second place, with shipments to China reaching 83.57 million tonnes, or 1.67 million barrels per day, an increase of 7.6 per cent from 2019.

READ: Oil prices fall on renewed coronavirus concerns

China’s demand for oil remained strong last year despite the COVID-19 pandemic which caused reduced demand for fuel elsewhere.

China, the world’s largest oil importer brought a record of 542.4 million tonnes of crude oil in 2020, or 10.85 million barrels per day, an increase of 7.3 per cent from the previous year.

Last December, Saudi supplies reached 6.94 million tonnes, down 0.8 per cent from last year, while Russian shipments reached 6.2 million tonnes, down by 15.7 per cent year on year.

China’s oil imports from the United States more than tripled last year compared to 2019 as companies stepped up purchases under a trade deal with Washington.

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