China's overall crude oil imports rose by 11.8% in May to 45.8 million tons year-over-year.
The surge in purchases also increased the value of total Russian crude imports to $5.8 billion in May, nearly double the value last year.
An ESPO blend from the eastern port of Kozmino has made up most of the seaborne Russian crude oil being imported by China, Yen Ling Song, an associate director at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said during a seminar earlier this month.
- Russia's seaborne shipments of crude oil to China rose for the 4th consecutive month in May to 1 million barrels per day and arrivals in June will continue
- If the supply from Russia is stable, Chinese refiners are likely to continue to purchase, especially when the price is more advantageous to other grades, this is a very important factor
China - while maintaining neutrality - has repeatedly affirmed it plans to maintain its close partnership with Russia with Chinese President Xi Jinping praising the «high resilience and ingenious potential» of Chinese-Russian potential.
The 2 nations have engaged in discussions to help China restock its national strategic petroleum reserves, Bloomberg reported in May.
The U.S. has rebuked China and any other nations that have maintained close ties with Russia.
A State Department spokesperson said:
- Nations that side with Vladimir Putin will inevitably find themselves on the wrong side of history