Deutsche Welle Chinese Edition recently reported that, in May of this year, China’s crude oil imports from Russia hit a new high, an increase of 55 percent over the same period last year. So far, Russia has replaced Saudi Arabia as China’s largest crude oil supplier. Chinese customs data showed that, despite sanctions from the West, Russia has been able to find Chinese buyers for its crude, but has had to cut prices. Though China’s demand for crude oil has fallen due to Covid, yet companies such as PetroChina and Zhenhua Oil have increased imports of cheap Russian crude. Saudi Arabia is China’s second-largest oil supplier. Its daily supply to China fell to 1.84 million barrels in May from 2.17 million barrels in April. Chinese customs data also showed that China imported 260,000 tons of crude oil from Iran in May of this year, which is the third batch of Iranian crude oil China has imported since December of last year. Despite U.S. sanctions on Iran, China typically imports Iranian oil through third countries, with Iranian crude accounting for 7 percent of China’s total imports. Chinese customs data also showed that China imported 400,000 tons of Russian LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) in May of this year, a 56 percent increase from May of last year. In the first five months of this year, China’s LNG imports from Russia increased by 22 percent year-over-year to 1.84 million tons.
Source: DW Chinese, June 20, 2022