China’s crude oil imports from top supplier Saudi Arabia rose nearly 47% in 2019, with December shipments from the kingdom flat to a year earlier, according to the just released local customs data.
The big annual boost in Saudi shipments followed a new marketing strategy by state-run Aramco, which signed at least two new supply pacts with private refiners in China that came into the market from late 2018.
Shipments to China in 2019 from the world’s top oil exporter totaled a record 83.32 million tonnes
Russia, China’s No. 2 supplier, shipped a record 77.64 million tonnes in 2019.
China is expected, however, to ramp up purchases of U.S oil in 2020 after pledging to buy at least $52.4 billion of U.S. energy products over the next two years as part of a Phase 1 deal to end a prolonged trade dispute.