Saudi retains top spot in oil supplies to China | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Saudi retains top spot in oil supplies to China

Reuters | Beijing/Singapore

The Daily Tribune –

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, kept its ranking as China’s top crude supplier for a ninth straight month in August as major producers relaxed production cuts.

Saudi oil arrivals surged 53% from a year earlier to 8.06 million tonnes, or 1.96 m barrels per day (bpd), data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Monday. That compares with 1.58 m bpd in July and 1.24 m bpd in August last year.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, known as OPEC+, decided in July to ease production cuts and increase supply by a further 2 m bpd, adding 0.4 m bpd a month from August until December. In July, OPEC output increased by 640,000 bpd to 26.66 m bpd.

China’s crude oil imports from Russia stood at 6.53 m tonnes in August, or 1.59 m bpd, flat versus 1.56 m bpd in July. The big gap behind Saudi volumes was due to Beijing’s decision to slash crude oil import quotas to its independent refiners, who favour Russia’s ESPO blend.

Meanwhile, shipments from the United Arab Emirates fell nearly 40% on-year, a possible sign demand for Iranian oil passed on as grades including UAE supplies remained lacklustre after peak arrivals early this year.