China Imported Record Oil from Russia at Discounted Price

China Imported Record Oil from Russia at Discounted Price

Russia has become the largest oil supplier to China

China imported a record quantity of Russian crude oil in May as Chinese buyers took advantage of the discounted price. All this happened because Beijing promised normal economic relations with Moscow.

Chinese customs data released a report on Friday that China imported 55% more oil year-on-year from Russia in May. Now China’s oil imports from Russia have reached 8.42 million metric tons. It means it has crossed the level of oil-importing from Saudi Arabia and Russia has now become the largest oil supplier for the month.

According to analysts from Cinda Securities, the ratio of Saudi oil was 21% of China’s total imports during April and 15% was Russian fuel.  

China took complete advantage and became the world’s largest importer of Russian fuels over the first 100 days of the war. On the other hand, many countries stopped oil purchases from Russia to impose economic costs for its invasion.

According to an estimate from the Finland-based Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air, due to sanctions by European countries the export of Russian oil decreased by 15% in May.

While being neutral in the war between Russia and Ukraine, China told many times that its closed partnership with Russia is constant. The Foreign Ministers of China continuously blame the United States and NATO for the war and also say Western sanctions against Russia are illegal.

According to the report, however, Chinese shipments of smartphones and laptops have reduced since the war started. The officials from Beijing say that we are willing to help Russia only so long as it is not sanctioned.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Putin talked on a phone call on Xi’s birthday on 15th June and showed solidarity. During the phone call, the Chinese leader acclaimed steady progress in the bilateral relationship and promised support for Russia.

The United States reprimanded the close ties between China and Russia. A state department spokesperson also said that nations who are with Putin are on the wrong side of history.  

Putin said the relationship between China and Russia is driven by long-term prospects rather than current geopolitical events.

Russia uses Siberia-Pacific Ocean Pipeline to export oil to China which is controlled by the Kremlin-controlled Transneft Far East. There is also a rise in seaborne shipments in recent months as refineries also want to take advantage of low prices.

China has again got an opportunity to restock its strategic petroleum reserves from the Russian discounted oil.