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According to Reuters local time on March 25, data released by China Customs on March 25 showed that Saudi Arabia crowded out Russia in February this year and regained the throne of China's largest crude oil supplier. Saudi Arabia ranked second in crude oil supply to China in January this year. After three consecutive years as China's second largest supplier of crude oil, Saudi Arabia is now expanding its crude oil sales to China through a supply agreement with refineries other than Chinese state-owned enterprises in line with its new marketing strategy.
The data show that Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, supplies 5.95 million tons of crude oil to China, about 1.552 million barrels per day. According to Reuters Customs data, this is a 29% increase over February 2018. By contrast, Russia exported 5.74 million tons of crude oil to China last month, or nearly 1.5 million barrels a day. In a report, Mark Tay, senior crude oil analyst at Thomson Reuters Supply Chain and Commodity Research, said Saudi Arabia had increased its share of the Asian market by signing new supply contracts for 2019 with Chinese refineries, including Sinochem-Hengli and Rongsheng.