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Russia becomes China’s top oil supplier amid Ukraine war sanctions

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theguardian.com

China’s crude oil imports from Russia soared by 55% from a year earlier to a record level in May, displacing Saudi Arabia as the top supplier, as refiners cashed in on discounted supplies amid sanctions on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.Imports of Russian oil, including supplies pumped via the east Siberia Pacific pipeline and seaborne shipments, totalled nearly 8.42m tonnes, according to data on Monday from the Chinese general administration of customs.The shipments are equivalent to almost 2m barrels per day (bpd) and up a quarter from 1.59m bpd in April.

China is the world’s biggest crude oil importer.Chinese firms, including state refining giant Sinopec and state-run Zhenhua Oil, have ramped up purchases of Russian oil, enticed by steep discounts after western oil majors and trading houses pulled back due to sanctions.The discounts of up to 30% have helped Russia to keep its coffers filled despite the sanctions from the west that are designed to cripple the country’s economy.

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