China imported a bumper 2.06mn b/d from Saudi Arabia in November, the third highest figure on record. But Saudi volumes slumped in December, making it a close-run thing whether Saudi or Russia was China’s top supplier for 2020 as a whole. Despite an end-year stock drawdown, Chinese inventories notched up record annual gains.

China, the world’s top crude importer took 11.09mn b/d for November to give average 11M 2020 volumes of 11.03mn b/d, up 9.4% year-on-year. Needless to say China will have smashed 2019’s record crude import figure. November imports included 2.06mn b/d from Saudi Arabia, a figure in line with provisional shipping data (MEES, 11 December) which was some 570,000 b/d ahead of number two Russia on 1.49mn b/d. (CONTINUED - 922 WORDS)