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The New Arab Staff

Saudi Arabia and Russia in race to become China's chief oil supplier

Saudi Arabia was China's chief oil supplier last year [Getty]

Date of publication: 20 November, 2020

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Saudi Arabia and Russia have both been hit hard by the downturn in oil demand.
Russia and Saudi Arabia are neck-and-neck to become China's main oil supplier, with a major downturn in demand in most areas of the world except for with the new superpower.

Saudi Arabia - Beijing's lead supplier last year - exported between 1.6 million and 1.7 million barrels of oil to China per day between January and November, according to Reuters.

Russia, meanwhile, has caught up with Riyadh, supplying 1.7 million barrels per day.

Both countries have been hit hard by a drop in demand for crude since the outbreak of the coronavirus and are racing to become China's chief supplier - now the world's leading oil importer.

"It looks like Russia has displaced Saudi Arabia to clinch the top spot this year," Serena Huang, analyst at Vortexa, told Reuters.

"It is a neck-and-neck race and it remains to be seen as to who will be the ultimate winner."
China, the apparent epicentre of the pandemic, unlike most countries, has seen economic growth this year and a growing demand for oil.

Russia and Saudi Arabia aren't the only suppliers looking to capitalise on China's increasing thirst for crude with Iraq supplying 1.2 million barrels per day.

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