November not only saw China notch up record overall crude imports of 11.13mn b/d (MEES, 20 December 2019), it also took record volumes from each of its top three suppliers: Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iraq.

Imports from Saudi Arabia hit 2mn b/d (1.998mn b/d) in November (MEES, 20 December 2019), the first time this level has been hit not just by Saudi Arabia but by any other crude supplier to China. Saudi Arabia has now been number one ahead of Russia for nine of the first 11 months of 2019, and the last six months straight (see chart). With an average of 1.67mn b/d for 11M 2019 it is all but certain to be number one ahead of Russia for the year as a whole. (CONTINUED - 311 WORDS)