Chinese President Xi Jinping.

China’s crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia struck an all-time high as refineries snapped up cheap fuel. Saudi retained its position as the top supplier to the world’s biggest oil buyer.

Arrivals from Saudi last month reached 9.165 million tons, or 2.16 million barrels per day (bpd), up about 95 percent from 1.11 million bpd in May 2019 and up 71 percent from 1.26 million bpd in April, data from the General Administration of Customs showed, reports Arab News.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (C, Front) (Xinhua/IANS)

Energy consultancy Kpler estimated China’s crude storage has reached an all-time high of 782 million barrels, with the country’s total capacity 61 percent full.

China’s overall crude oil imports jumped 19.2 percent in May from a year earlier to the highest monthly level on record, data released earlier this month showed, as demand for fuel recovered strongly after the easing of coronavirus curbs.

Russian shipments to the country rose last month to 7.71 million tons, or 1.82 million bpd, up from 1.75 million bpd in April and 1.5 million bpd over same period last year.

Amid tight US sanctions, China shied away from importing oil from Venezuela and shipments from Iran were near record lows, data showed.

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