Saudi retains top spot in oil supplies to China with volumes up 53pct y/y

21-Sep-2021 Intellasia | Reuters | 5:02 AM Print This Post

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, kept its ranking as China’s top crude supplier for a ninth straight month in August as major producers relaxed production cuts.

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

That compares with 1.58 million bpd in July and 1.24 million bpd in August last year.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, known as OPEC+, decided in July to ease production cuts and increase supply by a further 2 million bpd, adding 0.4 million bpd a month from August until December. In July, OPEC output increased by 640,000 bpd to 26.66 million bpd.

China’s crude oil imports from Russia stood at 6.53 million tonnes in August, or 1.59 million bpd, flat versus 1.56 million bpd in July.

The big gap behind Saudi volumes was due to Beijing’s decision to slash crude oil import quotas to its independent refiners, who favour Russia’s ESPO blend.

Crude oil arrivals from Malaysia more than doubled from year-ago levels to 1.75 million tonnes, 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.

Meanwhile, shipments from the United Arab Emirates fell nearly 40 percent on-year, a possible sign demand for Iranian oil passed on as grades including UAE supplies remained lacklustre after peak arrivals early this year.

Official data has consistently recorded zero imports from Iran or Venezuela since the start of this year.

The table below shows details of imports by main suppliers, with volumes in metric tonnes and percentage changes calculated by Reuters.

Country August yr/yr percent change Jan-August yr/yr percent change

Saudi 8,059,040 53 58,495,888 4.9

Russia 6,530,466 12.6 52,927,671 7.4

Iraq 5,837,234 27 36,606,038 16

Oman 3,288,709 27 29,944,391 23

Angola 3,281,465 9.7 26,138,458 5.5

Brazil 3,548,532 14.4 22,762,190 22

Kuwait 2,513,545 1.7 20,857,125 15

UAE 2,582,171 38.6 18,782,532 12.6

United States 962,572 56.7 9,949,891 41.7

Malaysia 1,747,046 114 10,247,370 14


Category: China

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