China Oil Imports from Russia Up 55% to Record High in May

China’s crude oil imports from Russia rose 55% to a record level in May, compared to a year earlier as the country continues to take advantage of the discounted supplies amid global sanctions on the Kremlin for the invasion of Ukraine.

Beijing has become a good friend with Moscow, thanks to global sanctions on Russia, especially on the energy that led to wide-ranged tight supplies.

Oil imported from Russia, which includes supplies pumped via the East Siberia Pacific Ocean pipeline and seaborne shipments from Russia’s European and Far Eastern ports, totalled nearly 8.42 million tonnes or around 1.98 million barrels per day (bpd), up from 1.59 million bpd in April.

According to Chinese customs data, China also imported 260,000 tonnes of Iranian crude oil last month, its third shipment since last December.

Meanwhile, Russia is now the world’s largest oil supplier after falling behind Saudi Arabia for the last 19 months.


According to data from the Centre of Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), Russia earned EUR 93 billion in revenue from fossil fuel exports in the first 100 days of the war (February 24 to June 3). The EU imported 61% of this, worth approximately 57 billion EUR.

The largest importers were China (EUR12.6 billion), Germany (EUR12.1 billion), Italy (EUR7.8 billion), Netherlands (EUR7.8 billion), Turkey (EUR6.7 billion), Poland (EUR4.4 billion), France (EUR4.3 billion) and India (EUR3.4 billion).