ISLAMABAD,(BEIJING) June 21( Alliance News): China boosted crude oil imports from Russia in May, according to customs data, which helped reduce the impact Western countries had on Russian energy purchases after the invasion of Ukraine.
According to foreign media, the increase means that Russia has overtaken Saudi Arabia to become the largest supplier of oil to China, as Moscow’s energy exports from the West. Has been banned.
The world’s second-largest economy imported about 8.42 million tonnes of oil from Russia last month, an increase of 55% over the previous year.
Beijing has publicly refused to condemn the Moscow war and has instead reaped economic benefits from its neighbor, which has been isolated by the world.
China imported 7.82 million tonnes of oil from Saudi Arabia in May.
According to Bloomberg News, China bought 7.47 billion worth of Russian energy products last month, about 1 billion more than in April.
The new customs figures come four months after the Ukraine war, in which US and European buyers are either refraining from buying Russian energy imports or promising to reduce them in the coming months.
Rising demand in Asia, especially from buyers from China and India, is helping Russia offset those losses.
Statistics from research firm Risted Energy show that India bought six times more Russian oil from March to May than in the same period last year, while Chinese imports tripled during that period.
Analyst Wei Cheunghu said it was pure economics that India and Chinese refiners were importing more Russian-origin crude because it was cheaper.
According to the latest report of the International Energy Agency on global oil, India has surpassed Germany as the second largest importer of Russian crude oil in the last two months.
China has been Russia’s largest crude oil market since 2016.
A few days before Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Chinese President Xi Jinping received his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Beijing, where the two countries had declared “unlimited” bilateral relations.
Although demand in China has declined due to the sanctions, there has been some improvement in recent months as sanctions in the country have eased somewhat compared to the early days of the epidemic.
Official figures show that China has allowed supply chain problems to ease and industrial production to accelerate.
China’s total imports from Russia rose 80 percent to 10. 10.3 billion in May from a year earlier, according to customs figures.
Beijing’s purchases of Russian liquefied natural gas rose 54 percent year-on-year to 397,000 tonnes, and total fuel imports fell.
China has consistently criticized Western sanctions on Russia and arms sales to Kyiv, which is why Western nations have accused it of providing a diplomatic shield to Russia.
China and Russia, once considered the worst rivals in the Cold War, have stepped up cooperation in recent years to strike a balance against US domination of the world.
This month, they unveiled the first road bridge connecting the two countries that connects the eastern Russian city of Blagoveshinsk with the northern Chinese city of Hehi.
In a call between the two leaders last week, Xi assured Putin of China’s full support for Russian sovereignty and security, and the Kremlin said the two leaders had agreed to boost economic cooperation despite illegal Western sanctions.