(Reuters) – Brazil advanced to the position of third largest supplier of crude oil to China in September, import data showed on Sunday, while independent Chinese refiners obtain cheap, relatively high quality supplies from the South American exporter .
Imports of the Brazilian product reached 4.49 million tons, compared to 2.96 million tons a year earlier, according to data from the General Administration of Customs of China.
Brazil overtook Iraq, which fell to the fifth largest supplier.
Imports by China from January to September of Brazilian oil were 33.69 million tons, an increase of 15.6% over the previous year, according to Reuters calculations based on the data.
China accounted for 70% of Brazil’s oil exports, state-owned Petrobras said in July.
Saudi Arabia regained first place in China’s oil purchases last month, after losing that rating to Russia in the previous two months, data showed.
The Kingdom imports amounted to 7.78 million tons, equivalent to 1.89 million barrels per day (bpd), compared to 1.24 million bpd in August.
Russia supplied 7.48 million tons last month, or 1.82 million bpd, up 18.6% over the previous year and 32.8% over August, according to Reuters calculations.
During the first nine months of 2020, Russia remained the largest seller with supplies totaling 64.62 million tons, 16% above the level of the previous year.
Saudi Arabia had 63.57 million tons, 6.5% more in the year.
US shipments increased to 3.9 million tons in September, from 517,982 tons the previous year.
China snapped up 13% more oil in the first nine months than in the previous year, as refiners increased production to meet the rapid recovery in demand and increased stocks of cheap oil at record rates.