Skip to main content

Russia surpasses Saudi Arabia as China’s top oil supplier

Energy-related cooperation between Saudi Arabia and China remains strong, but Russia and Saudi Arabia will continue to compete for the Chinese oil market in the near future.
 An oil tanker unloads imported crude oil at Qingdao port in China's eastern Shandong province on May 9, 2022. - China OUT (Photo by AFP) / China OUT (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Russia surpassed Saudi Arabia as China’s top oil supplier during the first two months of the year, Reuters reported on Monday. 

Russia supplied 15.68 million tons of oil to China in January and February, equivalent to 1.94 million barrels per day. This was an increase of 23.8% from the same period last year. Saudi Arabia supplied China with 13.92 million tons of oil in January and February, or 1.81 million barrels per day. This was a decrease of about 5%. Reuters reported, citing Chinese government data. 

Saudi Arabia was China’s top oil supplier in 2022, and Russia came second, according to the outlet.

This is not the first time Russia has surpassed Saudi Arabia in oil exports to China. It also happened in May 2022 and January 2020, according to a graph from Bloomberg, which also reported that Russia overtook Saudi Arabia in January and February. 

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.