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Angola overtook Russia as China’s biggest oil supplier last month, exporting 1.02 million barrels per day to the Asian country, up by 45.8 percent on the year, Reuters reported on Monday, citing Chinese customs data.
In comparison, China’s imports of Russian oil dropped by 2.14 percent to 962,620 bpd in September. Shipments of Saudi oil to China went down 1.29 percent to 949,500 bpd, while China’s Iraqi imports soared 58.4 percent to come in at 989,400 bpd.
On an annual basis, Saudi Arabia managed to eke out the win as China’s the number-one foreign supplier of oil, with an average 1.03 million bpd of oil imports, while Angola ranked third on a year-to-date basis, with 916,229 bpd in average oil imports, up 17.7 percent annually.
Last month’s high Angolan shipments to China should not come as a complete surprise, because Angola had also topped the Chinese foreign oil suppliers’ list in July, edging out the two traditional contesters for Chinese market share, Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Then in August, Russia reclaimed its top spot among the foreign oil suppliers to China, having boosted its exports to the Asian country by 50.2 percent annually to 1.09 million bpd.
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According to a Reuters survey from September, oil traders such as Trafigura and Gunvor were expected to contribute to a five-month high in shipments from Africa’s west coast to the east last month.
In the past two months, China has been steadily increasing its total oil imports. Chinese imports of crude oil in August stood at 7.77 million bpd, the highest crude import trend since April, on the back of declining domestic production and increased demand from small refineries.
Then in September, China’s total imports jumped to a record 8.08 million bpd, as the country continued to fill in strategic reserves and refineries came out of seasonal maintenance.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.