Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

China's April Saudi oil imports soar 38% on yr, Russian oil up 4%

Economic Indicators May 20, 2022 01:45AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. Immigration inspection officers in protective suits check a tanker carrying imported crude oil at the port in Qingdao, Shandong province, China May 9, 2022. China Daily via REUTERS

By Chen Aizhu

(Reuters) - China's crude oil imports from top supplier Saudi Arabia soared 38% in April from a year earlier, hitting the highest monthly volume since May 2020, according to Reuters' calculations based on official Chinese customs data.

Saudi shipments amounted to 8.93 million tonnes last month, equivalent to 2.17 million barrels per day (bpd), according to data from the Chinese General Administration of Customs.

The hefty purchases, with trades completed mostly in February, compare with 1.61 million bpd in March and 1.57 million bpd a year earlier.

Imports from second-largest supplier Russia rose a more modest 4% last month from a year earlier, with cargoes booked before western governments toughened sanctions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine in late February.

Russian oil arrivals in April totalled 6.55 million tonnes, or 1.59 million bpd, data showed, up slightly from 1.5 million bpd in March and 1.53 million bpd a year earlier.

China's overall crude oil imports last month rose nearly 7% on the year, the first rise in three months, although widespread COVID-19 lockdowns crimped fuel demand and dampened refinery output.

Friday's data showed zero imports in April from Iran. However, customs next month is likely to report for May the import of nearly 2 million barrels of Iranian oil that was being discharged this week into a reserve base in south China.

Despite U.S. sanctions on Iran, China has kept taking Iranian oil, usually passed off as supplies from other countries. The import levels are roughly equivalent to 7% of China's total crude oil imports.

Iranian oil, often priced lower than competing grades, has squeezed out rival supplies from producers such as from Brazil and West Africa.

Customs reported zero imports from Venezuela, as state oil firms shunned purchases since late 2019 for fear of falling afoul of secondary U.S. sanctions.

Imports from Malaysia, often used as a transfer point in the last two years for oil originating from Iran and Venezuela, jumped 84% on year to 2.165 million tonnes, the second highest on record.

Separately, data also showed China's imports of Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) in April were up 80% from a year earlier to 462,975 tonnes, the highest monthly amount in six months, despite a sharp fall in the country's total imports of the fuel.

China's overall LNG imports last month slid 34.5% to 4.35 million tonnes, the slowest since March 2020 as importers shunned pricey global spot supplies.

Below is the detailed breakdown of oil imports, with volumes in million tonnes:

Country April y/y Jan-April y/y

%change %change

Saudi 8.932 38 30.4 3.5

Russia 6.551 4 25.61 -7

Iraq 4.089 -8 18.85 4

Angola 2.781 -10 11.69 -10

Brazil 2.435 -13 8.79 -25

United 0.748 -19 3.27 -43


Malaysia 2.165 84 6.23 21

Iran 0 0.26

Venezuela 0 0

Oman 2.975 16 14.98 0.1

UAE 3.096 66 12.22 21

(tonne = 7.3 barrels for crude oil conversion)

China's April Saudi oil imports soar 38% on yr, Russian oil up 4%

Related Articles

Taiwan July exports jump, but uncertainty ahead
Taiwan July exports jump, but uncertainty ahead By Reuters - Aug 08, 2022 1

(Corrects typo in headline) TAIPEI (Reuters) -Taiwan's exports rose in July on sustained demand for technology products with shipments to China picking up, and while the...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email