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China’s 2023 Crude Oil Imports from Russia Exceeded 100 Million Tons for the First Time

China imported more than 107 million tons of crude oil from Russia in 2023, according to data from China’s General Administration of Customs reported by well-known Chinese news site Sina (NASDQ: SINA). This represents a year-over-year increase of 24 percent in Chinese oil imports from Russia, accounting for approximately 19 percent of China’s total crude oil imports last year and marking the first time in four years that Russia was the biggest source of crude oil supplying China.

In the meantime, Saudi Arabia supplied 85.96 million tons of crude oil to China, a year-over-year decrease of 1.7 percent, ranking second among sources of oil supplying China; Iraq exported 59.26 million tons of crude to China, ranking third; Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates supplied China with 54.79 million tons and 41.82 million tons of crude oil, ranking fourth and fifth, respectively.

Following the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in February 2022, Russia has responded to Western sanctions by increasing oil and gas exports to China, India and other Asian countries. In 2023, about 90 percent of Russia’s oil and petroleum exports went to China and India. In the past two years India, has accounted for about 40 percent of Russia’s total crude oil exports, Russia supplied almost no crude oil to India before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

According to the Sina news article, “China and Russia are continuing to deepen energy cooperation.”

Source: Sina, January 22, 2024