China Imports: Saudi Cements Top Spot; Iran At 5-Year High Amid Overall Record

*China imported 1.532mn b/d of crude from Saudi Arabia in April, the sixth straight month over 1.35mn b/d and the third straight month that Saudi has topped Russia as number one supplier.

*Saudi Arabia has taken a strategic decision to max volumes to China for 2019 ( MEES, 1 March ) despite cutting overall exports in line with the ‘Opec+’ output deal from 1 January ( MEES, 24 May ).

*China’s imports from Saudi averaged 1.542mn b/d in the first four months of 2019 compared to 1.094mn b/d for Jan-April 2018, a 41% increase. In the process Saudi is now consistently ahead of Russia for the first time since early 2016 (see chart 1). Russia was top supplier to China for 23 straight months to January and has lost top spot despite its own supplies to China rising 10% year-on-year to 1.478mn b/d for January-April. (CONTINUED - 725 WORDS)


chart China's Top 7* Crude Suppliers: Saudi Arabia On Top For First Sustained Period In Three Years ('000 B/D, Three Month Moving Average)
chart Iran's Asian Customers Take 9-Month High 1.6mn B/D For April Amid Pre-Waiver Expiry Buying Spurt ('000 B/D, Crude And Condensate)