In May, Russia sold more oil to China than ever before, making it the largest oil supplier in the People’s Republic. China imported nearly 8.42 million tons of crude oil from Russia last month, Beijing Customs officials said on Monday. That’s almost two million barrels per day (bpd) and 55 percent more than a year ago and about a quarter more than in April.
After 19 months, Russia has again ousted Saudi Arabia from being China’s largest oil supplier. Chinese companies such as the refinery giant Sinopec benefited from sharp price reductions after western oil companies and trading houses withdrew from the Russian market due to sanctions imposed because of the Ukraine war.
Saudi Arabia delivered 7.82 million tons or 1.84 million barrels of oil to China in May, nine percent more oil than in the previous year. However, that’s down about 15 percent from April’s 2.17 million bpd. In May, the European Union decided to largely ban imports of Russian oil.