China secretly expands cheap Russian crude oil imports Filling the gap in Europe and America | Reuters

On May 20, shipping data and oil traders revealed that China was secretly expanding imports of cheap Russian crude oil. Taken in June 2019 at Sinopec Oil Facility in Nantong, China (2022 Reuters)

[Singapore, 20th Reuters]–China’s imports of cheap Russian crude oil are secretly expanding, according to shipping data and oil traders. After the invasion of Ukraine, Western buyers are said to be filling the void created by withdrawing from transactions with Russia.

China’s maritime imports of Russian crude oil are expected to surge to a record high of 1.1 million barrels a day in May, according to estimates by Vortexa Analytics, a ship tracking company. It was 750,000 barrels in the first quarter and 800,000 barrels in 2021.

According to shipping data, a report of a ship broker viewed by Reuters, and five traders, China Petrochemical Corporation (Unipec), the trading division of China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec), is a defense conglomerate of China, China Northern Industry (Norinko). ) Is leading the import along with its subsidiary, Sinopec Oil. Libnah Shipping, a company registered in Hong Kong, has also recently been identified as the main shipper of Russian crude oil to China.

China Petrochemical declined to comment. Zhenhua and Libnah did not respond to requests for comment.

“Only companies trusted by Russian trading partners can fill the holes in Western companies,” said one Chinese trader.

Cheap Russian crude, well below competing crude in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the United States, is in favor of Chinese refiners facing a slowdown and narrowing margins, according to traders.

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