Data from the Chinese Customs Administration indicates that in September, Brazil advanced to the position of third-largest supplier of crude oil to the Asian country, as independent Chinese refiners obtain cheap and a relatively high-quality supply from the South American exporter.
Imports of the Brazilian product reached 4.49 million tons, compared to 2.96 million tons in the same period in 2019. With that, Brazil overtook Iraq, which fell to the fifth-largest supplier.
China’s imports of Brazilian oil from January to September were 33.69 million tons, an increase of 15.6% over the previous year, according to estimates based on the released data. In July, according to Petrobras, China accounted for 70% of Brazil’s oil exports.
Saudi Arabia regained first place in China’s oil purchases last month, after losing that rating to Russia for the previous two months. Imports from the Kingdom amounted to 7.78 million tons, the equivalent of 1.89 million barrels per day (BPD), compared to 1.24 million BPD in August.
Russia supplied 7.48 million tons last month, or 1.82 million BPD, up 18.6% over the previous year and up 32.8% over August. During the first nine months of 2020, Russia remained the largest supplier of oil to China, exporting 64.62 million tons, 16% above 2019 levels. Saudi Arabia supplied 63.57 million tons, an increase of 6.5% for the year.
China imported 13% more oil in the first nine months of 2020 than in the same period in 2019, as refiners increased production to meet the rapid recovery in demand and increased stocks of cheap oil at record rates.