China’s US Oil Imports near Record, Saudi Imports up 43%

China’s crude oil imports from the U.S. soared 13 fold in November from a year earlier to the third highest on record, customs data showed on Dec. 25, as companies accelerated energy purchases set out under a trade deal with Washington.
China’s U.S. oil imports hit 3.61 million tonnes, about 878,839 bbl/d. That’s up from 0.26 million tonnes in November last year and versus October’s 1.625 million tonnes, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.
The November level compares to the record set in September of 3.9 million tonnes, Saudi Arabia regained its ranking as China’s top supplier with shipments up 43% from October at 8.48 million tonnes, or 2.06 million bbl/d, as the leading OPEC exporter slashed prices to Asian customers to boost market share.
Imports from the kingdom during the January-November period rose 2.2% from a year ago to 77.98 million tonnes.
Second-ranked supplier Russia supplied 6.1 million tonnes, or 1.48 million bbl/d, data showed, versus October’s 1.56 million bbl/d.
Saudi Arabia and Russia are in a tight race to become China’s top oil supplier in 2020, with both countries boosting crude exports to the economic powerhouse even as the coronavirus pandemic hit global demand for oil this year.
No.3 supplier Iraq shipped 5.098 million tonnes to China, or 1.24 million bbl/d, with volumes in the first 11 months totaling 56.94 million tonnes, nearly 21% above the year-ago level.
China took no oil from Venezuela again, the data showed. State giant CNPC, the South American country’s top client, stopped lifting Venezuelan oil more than a year ago over fears of U.S. sanctions.
The list below details imports from key suppliers, with volumes in million tonnes and % changes calculated by Reuters based on official data.

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