China Imports: Aramco Claims Ring Hollow As Russia, Iraq Notch Up Record Volumes

Saudi crude exports to China are running at record levels. But, though they may rise further next year, Russia is unlikely to be usurped as No.1 in the Middle Kingdom.

Saudi Aramco last week claimed that it was set to not only ship record volumes of crude to China in 2019, but to usurp Russia as top supplier ( MEES, 23 November ). Term shipments will hit 1.67mn b/d on the back of five crude supply deals signed earlier this month which “make it very likely that Saudi Arabia next year will become China’s largest supplier, a position it held from 2006 to 2016,” Aramco says.

Leaving aside the fact that Russia had already overtaken Saudi Arabia as top supplier to China in 2016, such claims ring hollow given that Russia has extended its lead to a whopping 360,000 b/d for the first ten months of 2018 with 1.4mn b/d supplies. (CONTINUED - 1897 WORDS)

DATA INSIDE THIS ARTICLE

chart China Crude Imports (‘000 B/D, Top Six Suppliers*): Russia Is Now Way Out In Front With A Near-300,000 B/D Increase To 1.40mn B/D For 10m 2018
chart Saudi Top 5 Crude Customers: Will China, Never Previously #1, USURP Japan Next Year?