Saudi Arabia is top oil supplier to China in 2021

Saudi Arabia is top oil supplier to China in 2021
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Updated 20 January 2022

Saudi Arabia is top oil supplier to China in 2021

Saudi Arabia is top oil supplier to China in 2021

CHINA: Saudi Arabia retained its top ranking in Chinese oil supplies in 2021, with supplies up 3.1 percent over 2020, and increased its share to 17% of total Chinese imports, customs data showed.

China brought in 87.58 million tonnes of crude oil from the kingdom, or an equivalence of 1.75 million barrels-per-day, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Thursday.

That compares to 84.92 million tonnes in 2020, when Saudi Arabia held 16 percent of the Chinese market.

The expanded market share by the top OPEC exporter came as it boosted sales to national refiners and bolstered by demand from private mega refiners Zhejiang Petrochemical Corp and Hengli Petrochemical.

Russia came in second, increasing the gap with Saudi Arabia, as supplies contracted 4.7 percent to 79.65 million tonnes, or 1.59 million bpd, weighed down by weaker demand from China's independent refiners.

Shipments from Iraq came in third and fell 10 percent on the year to 54.13 million tonnes. Brazil dropped to No.7 last year versus No.4 in 2020, with supplies down 28 percent to 30.28 million tonnes, also due to reduced appetite from small independent plants.

Under a broad campaign to rein in surplus refining capacity and cut carbon emissions, the Chinese government last year introduced measures such as cutting import quotas and slapping a hefty tax on imports of blending fuels.

Imports from Oman and Malaysia gained 18 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

Reuters reported shipments from Iran and Venezuela were passed on as originated from Oman and Malaysia due to U.S. sanctions.

China's customs data on Thursday showed the country brought in its first imports of Iranian crude oil in a year in December despite ongoing sanctions by the United States government.

Officially, Chinese customs data has consistently not shown any imports from Venezuela.

Thursday's data showed U.S. supplies plunged 42 percent to 11.47 million tonnes.

The table below shows import details by country, in metric tonnes. Volumes during January-December period and the percentage changes are calculated by Reuters.

Country Jan-Dec. volume Jan-Dec yr/yr %
Russia 79,654,884 -4.7
Saudi Arabia 87,576,703 3.1
Iraq 54,130,343 -10
Angola 39,163,873 -6.3
UAE 33,825,312 8.6
Oman 44,789,938 18.4