Saudi Arabia and Russia are in a tight competition to become China’s top oil suppliers by 2020, with both countries increasing crude exports to economic powerhouses.
Saudi Arabia, China’s top supplier last year, exported 1.6 million to 1.7 million barrels per day (BPD) from January to November 2020, according to analytics firms Refinitive, Vertex and Kpler.
It was catching up with Russia, which has so far exported about 1.7 million bpd of oil to China in 2020, with Iraq at a third place with about 1.2 million bpd.
The oil industry has been hit hard this year as the coronavirus epidemic hit business activity and brought the travel industry to virtual stagnation.
China, the world’s top crude importer, one of the few countries to increase purchases in 2020, saw buyers take the lowest prices earlier this year, as well as a broader economy, as well as a recovery in fuel demand from the second quarter.
“It looks like Russia has displaced Saudi Arabia to take the top spot this year,” said Serena Huang, an analyst at Vertex. “It’s a neck and neck race and it remains to be seen who will be the final winner.”
Advisory Editor: Syed Ershad Ahmed
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