China cut its imports of oil from Saudi Arabia last month, customs data issued by the authorities in Beijing revealed this week. During the same period, imports of Russian crude oil increased.
Imports of Russian crude in China were 1.75 million barrels per day in April, compared with 1.66 million barrels in March. In contrast, oil imported from Saudi Arabia fell to 1.26 million barrels per day, compared with 1.7 million barrels in March.
The change coincides with a price war between Riyadh and Moscow following the collapse of an agreement to cut oil production. Both countries were then pushed to increase production and sell at reduced prices to maintain their respective market shares.
Prices have risen gradually in May to an average of $35 per barrel, after the implementation of a new production agreement.