• By The Financial District


China’s crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia rose 15% in June from a year ago, as refiners ordered record volumes of the fuel in March and April when oil prices tumbled, cementing the kingdom’s position as the top oil supplier to China, Muyu Xu and Pei Li reported for Reuters late on July 26, 2020.

Imports from Saudi Arabia rose to 8.88 million tons in June, or 2.16 million barrels per day (bpd) in June, according to data from the General Administration of Customs on Sunday, July 26, 2020.

That was in line with May’s volumes, but well above 1.89 million bpd during the same period last year. The record imports follow a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world’s top oil exporters, during March and April when the coronavirus pandemic dampened demand and caused a global fuel glut.

Shipments from Russia were at 7.98 million tons last month, or 1.95 million bpd, up around 7% from 1.82 million bpd in May and 1.73 million bpd in June 2019. Saudi, however, delivered bigger oil cuts from June and raised crude prices as a plunge in oil prices weighed on the kingdom’s budget. China, the world’s biggest crude oil importer, took in a record 53.18 million tons last month, according to customs data. China also bought more oil from Brazil, Norway and Angola.