China Surpasses All as Russia’s Top Oil Customer: Record 107.02 Million Tonnes Purchased


China bought a record 107.02 million tonnes of crude oil from Russia last year, making it the country’s largest oil supplier, according to Chinese customs statistics. The data also revealed that Saudi Arabia’s oil exports to China decreased to an average of about 1.7 million barrels per day last year, well behind Saudi Arabia’s 2.14 million barrel daily import rate.

Russian exports to China reached a record-breaking 2.57 million barrels per day in June 2023.
“In part, the sanctions imposed by the West on Russian crude facilitated this development.”

Due to sanctions, including a price cap on Russian oil exports, prior purchasers of Russian oil were compelled to avoid the country. However, China and India eagerly welcomed the increased supply.

Even though it eventually narrowed as Russian oil prices moved in line with international prices, the price discount that the bans created was a major factor in that.

Sanctions-Driven Supply Surge: China and India Embrace Increased Russian Oil

Last year, China became Russia’s biggest oil customer due to the same developments. According to statements made earlier this month by Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak. China is the country that purchases the most Russian oil China receives half of Russia’s exports of crude oil.

China, whose share has increased to roughly 45–50%, and India, of course, are the main partners in the current situation, according to Novak. “Earlier, there generally were no goods going to India; in the past 2 years. The overall portion of supplies to India has come to 40%.”

Russia became India’s main oil supplier this past year, while Europe’s share of Russian oil imports decreased from approximately 45% to approximately 4-5% due to an embargo the European Union placed on the purchase of Russian petroleum products and oil in December 2022 or February 2023.
About 90% of Russia’s oil exports were receive by China and India combined in 2023.