Russia is the lead supplier to the world’s second-largest economy followed by Saudi Arabia.
Last year, China imported about a half million more barrels of oil per day than the United States, the world’s leading economy, U.S. federal data show.
China, the second-largest economy in the world behind the United States, became the world’s No. 1 importer of petroleum and other products five years ago.
Last year, it imported 8.4 million barrels of oil per day on average, beating out the United States by 500,000 barrels per day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The United States, meanwhile, is rivaling Saudi Arabia in terms of total U.S. crude oil production, exporting some of that to the open market. The spread, or difference, between West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark for the price of oil, and Brent, the global benchmark, makes U.S. oil competitive in some markets.
EIA reported that Russia, however, is the largest oil supplier to the Chinese market, and that trend should continue, a U.S. federal brief reads.
Russia last year exported about 1.2 million barrels per day on average to China, compared with the average 1 million barrels per day from Saudi Arabia.
“Given China’s expected decline in domestic crude oil production, imports will likely continue to increase over at least the next two years,” EIA’s report read.
Oil demand from China in November, the last full month for which data are available, was 9 million barrels per day — the second highest on record.