China’s imports of Russian crude soared to an all-time high last month, helping the sanctioned country maintain its position as Beijing’s top oil supplier, reports the Russia Today.
Chinese customs data released on Thursday showed oil flows from Russia hit 10.5 million tonnes in June, up more than 40pc compared to the same month last year. In monetary terms, imports amounted to $5.22 billion. In May, supplies stood at 9.7 million tonnes, worth $5.14 billion.
Russia has beaten Saudi Arabia to top spot on the list of China’s oil suppliers this year thanks to steep discounts offered by the sanctioned country.
Saudi Arabia is China’s second-largest provider, having delivered over 46 million tonnes in the first half of this year. Iraq is in third spot with over 29 million tonnes.
In 2022, China’s total purchases of Russian crude jumped by 8pc year-on-year, according to official data.
Following last year’s Western embargo and the price cap on Russian oil, Moscow redirected its flows to the East.
India and China have sharply increased their purchases, while Pakistan received its first cargo of Russian oil last month under a deal reached in April.