Russia just one-upped the Saudis in China
"China imported a record 3.92 million metric tons from its northern neighbor in May, according to data emailed by the Beijing-based General Administration of Customs on Tuesday," according to Bloomberg."That's equivalent to 927,000 barrels a day, a 20% increase from the previous month. Saudi sales slumped 42% from April to 3.05 million tons."
"Following Russia's recent acceptance of the renminbi as payments for oil, we expect more record high oil imports ahead to China," Gordon Kwan, the Hong Kong-based head of regional oil and gas research at Nomura Holdings Inc., told Bloomberg."If Saudi Arabia wants to recapture its number one ranking, it needs to accept the renminbi for oil payments instead of just the dollar."
"Russia is using its good relationship with China to increase supplies and has now taken the top spot," Gao Jian, an analyst at SCI International, a Shandong-based energy consultant, told Bloomberg.
"Saudi Arabia is losing its crown as its selling prices in Asia haven't been attractive enough."
This past spring, Saudi "officials have repeatedly stated that the entire cartel and non-OPEC players like Russia would need to join and bear the burden of a cut as in 1986 and 1998," RBC Capital Markets' Helima Croft wrote in a note to clients earlier.
However, Russia wasn't showing any signs of jumping on the coordinated production cut.
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