China, the world’s top crude importer, took an average of 10.53mn b/d for the first two months of 2022, down 6% on the same period a year earlier as the country is hit by renewed Covid-related movement restrictions. The Jan-Feb figure is up modestly on the average 2021 import figure of 10.31mn b/d, however.

Saudi Arabia was China’s clear top supplier for 2021 with 1.75mn b/d versus 1.59mn b/d from number two Russia (MEES, 21 January). The kingdom retained top spot for both January and February with 1.88mn b/d and 1.73mn b/d, respectively. Indeed, Saudi has now been ahead of Russia for 15 of the last 16 months – the exception was December last year (see chart 1). (CONTINUED - 827 WORDS)