China’s crude oil imports from Brazil almost doubled in June, as refiners ordered record volumes of the fuel in March and April when oil prices tumbled.
According to data from China´s General Administration of Customs released on Sunday, Saudi Arabia was the main source of imports, rising to 8.88 million tonnes in June, or 2.16 million bpd. That was in line with May’s volumes, but well above 1.89 million bpd during the same period last year.
The record imports follow a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world’s top oil exporters, during March and April when the coronavirus pandemic dampened demand and caused a global fuel glut.
Shipments from Russia were at 7.98 million tonnes last month, or 1.95 million barrels per day (bpd), up around 7% from 1.82 million bpd in May and 1.73 million bpd in June 2019.
China, the world’s biggest crude oil importer, took in a record 53.18 million tonnes last month, according to customs data.
China also boosted inflows from Brazil, whose massive offshore projects are coming online, offering Asian refiners competitive deals on relatively high-quality oil.
Brazil was China´s sixth main oil supplier, with 4.98 million tonnes in June, a 93% increase from the previous year. Since January, supplies from Brazil have increased 1.2%, to 20.45 million tonnes.
Angola was the seventh main supplier, with 4.44 million tonnes in June, stable compared to last year. Since January, Angola supplied almost 17% less than in the first 6 months of 2019.
Analysts expect China to see another record amount of crude imports in July as some May-loading cargoes are still underway while swelling oil inventory at major Chinese ports slows new arrivals.