China’s crude oil imports from Russia soared 55% from a year earlier to a record level in May.
Refiners cashed in on discounted supplies amid sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine.
Imports of Russian oil, including 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, according to data from the Chinese General Administration of Customs.
China is the world’s biggest crude oil importer.
The country imported 260,000 tonnes of Iranian crude oil last month, its third shipment of Iran oil since December.
Imports from Malaysia, often used as a transfer point in the last two years for oil originating from Iran and Venezuela, amounted to 2.2 million tonnes, steady versus April but more than double the year-earlier level.
Imports from Brazil fell 19% from a year earlier to 2.2 million tonnes, as supplies from the Latin American exporter faced cheaper competition from Iranian and Russian barrels.