Russia exported a record amount of oil to China in May. The country supplied 55% more oil to the Chinese compared to the previous year. This has made the Asian country even more important to Russians, especially now that the West no longer wants to import Russian oil because of the war in Ukraine.
Due to increased sales, Russia has ousted Saudi Arabia as China’s biggest oil supplier. In addition, the Chinese refineries of Sinopec and Zhenhua Oil, among others, were able to take advantage of discounts. Russia supplied at relatively low prices as the country can only supply the fossil feedstock to a limited number of markets due to sanctions.
Russian oil imports totaled nearly 8.4 million tonnes last month, according to data from China’s customs service. That equates to just under 2 million barrels per day, up from 1.6 million barrels of oil per day the previous month.
China is the world’s largest importer of crude oil. Imported Russian oil is supplied to China through the Eastern Siberian Pipeline in the Pacific Ocean as well as from Russian ports, including ports in western Russia.