China expanded record low-priced Russian crude oil imports in June, despite a weakening of its total crude imports due to the lockdown, while reducing purchases from the Middle East and West Africa, according to with trackers and tanker traders.
Russia remained China’s top oil supplier for the second month in a row, surpassing Saudi Arabia, according to tanker tracking experts Vortexa, Kpler and Refinitiv.
China is the world’s biggest importer of crude, and the Russian product helps Chinese refiners keep costs down at a time when their margins are squeezed by slowing demand due to tight Covid-19 controls and Beijing’s restrictions on fuel exports amid supply concerns.
Russian oil imports in June — including maritime shipments and supplies via pipelines — are expected to total about 2 million barrels per day (bpd), or 15% of China’s oil demand, on par with the record volume recorded in May, analysts said.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s total oil imports in June are expected to fall to a nearly two-year low of 1.3 million bpd, Refinitiv estimated.
Russian oil shipments by sea were estimated at between 1.04 and 1.15 million bpd last month, flat from May’s near-record high of around 1.1 million bpd, according to the companies. of analysis.
Separately, China is expected to receive approximately 880,000 bpd of Russian crude through the two East Siberian-Pacific (ESPO) pipelines and the Kazakhstan-China pipeline under government agreements, with all three projects pumping at maximum rates, two traders with knowledge of the Subject.
Chinese customs are expected to release June crude oil import data next week, which analysts say could be down 8% from a year ago, reflecting the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on activity. commercial and consumption in dozens of cities in China.
Customs will release import origin data on July 20.
Source: CNN Brasil