Russia has once again pushed Saudi Arabia back from first place in oil supplies to China. Beijing buys oil from Moscow at discounts of up to 30% of the cost amid Western sanctions against Russia due to the war in Ukraine.
Russia sold record amounts of oil to China in May, making it China’s largest oil supplier. China imported nearly 8.42 million tons of crude oil from Russia last month, China’s customs agency said Monday, June 20.
That means Russia supplied almost 2 million barrels of oil per day to China in May, a 55 percent year-on-year increase and almost a quarter more than in April alone. As a result, Russia, after a 19-month pause, has once again pushed Saudi Arabia back from first place in terms of oil supplies to China.
China receives Russian oil at a discount of up to a third of its cost
Amid sanctions imposed by the West on Russia because of the war in Ukraine, Chinese companies are buying Russian oil at deep discounts of up to 30% of the cost. This is the reason for the record-breaking figures. In particular, Sinopec and Zhenhua Oil received Russian oil in March at a 20% discount, and in April – 33%.
Saudi Arabia supplied 7.82 million tons of oil (1.84 bpd) to China in May, a nine percent year-on-year increase. At the same time, the volume of Saudi supplies to China decreased by 15% compared to April.
The European Union in May agreed on a massive embargo on Russian oil imports. However, it applies only to shipments by sea using tankers, oil pipeline shipments were removed from the sanctions under Hungary’s insistence.