Russia was again well ahead of Saudi Arabia as China’s top crude supplier for October according to freshly-released official Chinese data. Imports of 2.01mn b/d from Russia for October marked the seventh month this year, including five of the past six, that volumes have been above 2mn b/d, a level that had never been breached prior to 2023. Average 10M 2023 volumes of 2.12mn b/d are up 23% year-on-year and set to smash not only the record annual figure for Russia (1.72mn b/d for 2022) but the record for any country – 1.75mn b/d for Saudi Arabia in 2021.

Saudi Arabia was more than 430,000 b/d behind Russia on 1.56mn b/d for October. Russia has been ahead of Saudi for eight of the first ten months of 2023 including all of the last six for a year-to-date lead of 360,000 b/d versus the Saudi 1.76mn b/d figure. (CONTINUED - 632 WORDS)