Saudi Remains China’s Top Oil Supplier Nine Months in a Roll

As major producers are relaxing production cuts, Saudi Arabia has kept in August its ranking as China’s top crude supplier kept for a ninth month in a roll, Arab News reports.

Compared to 2020, the world’s biggest oil exporter arrivals surged 53 percent to 8.06 million tonnes or 1.96 million bpd, according to the data from the General Administration of Customs published on Monday.

Saudi oil arrivals in July were 1.58 million barrels per day.

OPEC+ to eased in July the production cuts and increased supply by a further 2 million bpd, adding 0.4 million bpd a month from August until December, increasing OPEC’s output by 640,000 bpd to 26.66 million bpd in the same month.

The reason behind the increased Saudi volumes is Beijing’s decision to slash crude oil import quotas to its independent refiners favouring Russia’s ESPO blend, leveling the China’s crude oil imports from at 6.53 million tonnes or 1.59 million bpd in August, compared to 1.56 million bpd in July.

Meanwhile, after peak arrivals early this year, the shipments from the United Arab Emirates fell nearly 40% compared to last year in a possible sign of demand for Iranian oil passed.

It’s also worth noting that Saudi Arabia announced last week slashing oil prices for sales to Asia next month by more than twice the expected signaling State producer Saudi Aramco’s wish to entice buyers to take more of its barrels.

Aramco plans rolling back pricing on all of its grades to its biggest market in Asia after the three successive months of increases in the company’s official selling prices had shocked refiners struggling with the recovery in energy demand after the chaos the COVID pandemic provoked.

Though a survey of six traders and refiners in Asia last week showed they expect Aramco to reduce the oil selling price of the grade by around 60 cents a barrel, the company lowering pricing for its main oil grade, Arab Light crude, by $1.30 a barrel to a premium of $1.70 more than the regional benchmark.

Meanwhile, Malaysian crude oil arrivals more than doubled from 2020 to 1.75 million tonnes probably due to Malaysian crude it offered after rebranding Venezuelan heavy oil previously passed on as bitumen blend in light of Beijing imposed hefty import taxes on blending fuels.

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