China's imports from Saudi Arabia slowed in April but the kingdom retained its position as China's top supplier of crude oil for an eighth consecutive month, customs data showed, while arrivals from the United Arab Emirates plunged.
Shipments from Saudi Arabia were 6.47 million tonnes last month, or 1.57 million barrels per day (bpd), hitting their lowest since October, data from the General Administration of Chinese Customs showed.
Imports from Russia also dipped in April from a month earlier, to 6.3 million tonnes, or 1.53 million bpd, in line with a scaleback in Chinese crude purchases as refiners faced narrowing margins.
Total crude oil imports into China, the world's largest buyer, dipped 0.2% on year in April to the lowest since December.
Imports from Oman and the United Arab Emirates fell 8% and 40% from year-ago levels respectively, a possible sign that shipments of Iranian oil were slowing from record volumes in previous months.
Reuters has reported that Iran has sold record amounts of oil since late 2020, passed on as crude oil from other origins that included Oman and the UAE.
Customs recorded zero imports from Iran for a fourth month in a row.