Russia has become the leader in oil supplies to China. Imports in May increased by 55 per cent compared to a year earlier, as it was reported on Wednesday, July 6, by Reuters with reference to the shipping analytical companies Vortexa, Kpler and Refinitiv. Thus, the import of Russian oil in May reached almost 8.42 million tonnes, which is equivalent to about 1.98 million barrels per day.
According to the agency, the Chinese oil refining company Sinopec and trader Zhenhua Oil “stepped up the purchase of cheaper Russian oil” and supplies from Iran and Venezuela, while reducing the purchase of oil from West Africa and Brazil. Thus, Moscow regained the first place in the ranking of oil suppliers to China (Saudi Arabia ranks second).
On June 20, Reuters reported that oil imports from Russia to China rose to a record level in May. As the agency then explained, this dynamic is due to large discounts for Chinese buyers against the background of international sanctions against oil supplies from Russia.
On the same day, it was noted that from May 27 to June 15, India increased the volume of purchases of Russian oil by 31 times, coal by 6 times compared to the same period last year. It was specified that Moscow offered Delhi a 30 per cent discount.
On June 6, the British newspaper The Independent also stated that after the introduction of the oil embargo, oil shipments from Russia doubled, in particular to India and China. The refusal of European shipping companies to supply oil from Russia, as the newspaper noted, allowed the remaining carriers to receive “furious profits”, as well as replenish the budget of Moscow by billions of dollars.
As reminded, on June 2, the EU countries agreed on the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, which includes, among other things, the gradual refusal of the EU countries from importing Russian oil transported by sea. By the end of the year, the EU expects to abandon almost 90 per cent of Russian oil imports. Moscow, in turn, has repeatedly stated the self-destructive consequences of sanctions, saying the restrictions harm primarily the residents of the EU countries themselves, while Russia “adequately” withstands all of them.