China begins to evade new contracts for the purchase of oil from Russia
Chinese refiners won’t buy Russian oil for May delivery, sources say
In China, the state-owned refineries of Sinopec, CNOOC, PetroChina and Sinochem are avoiding new deals to buy cheap Russian oil due to Beijing’s call to be cautious in connection with the tightening of Western sanctions against Russia. This is reported Reuters citing sources on Wednesday, April 6.
“State-owned enterprises are being cautious because their actions can be regarded as the actions of the Chinese government, and none of them wants to be singled out as a buyer of Russian oil,” the agency’s interlocutors said.
It is noted that these refineries did not buy Russian cargoes of oil for delivery in May, even at a discount, and one of the Unipec plants was instructed to find a replacement for Russian oil.
For its part, Sinopec is facing payment problems even on previously agreed deals as risk-averse state-owned banks seek to cut funding for Russian oil deals.
Now Russia’s share is 15% of China’s oil imports. Half of these volumes are supplied by pipelines, the other half by tankers.
Recall that in March Russian oil exports fell by a quarter. Russia has struggled to sell its oil following a US embargo and tacit boycott in response to the war in Ukraine. According to media reports, now about 70% of Russian oil supplied for export finds buyers with difficulty.
It was also reported that in March Russia lost $3.6 billion oil and gas revenues.
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