Monday, May 23, 2016

Russia Overtakes Saudi Arabia As China's Leading Supplier Of Crude Oil -- EIA -- May 23, 2016 -- Prince Salman: Welcome To The World Of Realpolitik

Over at "Big Stories" I have a link to "the global power shift: Russia-China hegemony." Note: that initial post on this "big story" was posted on May 15, 2016, just months before Saudi Arabia turned on the spigots, saying that it was all about protecting "market share."

The most recent update at that page was about a year later, November 16, 2016, a story about the war of attrition between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

That is the background to this story, sent to me by a reader today, thank you very much. From Saudi Market Share Takes A Hit As Russia Doubles Oil Exports To China. Some data points from that article:
  • Russian oil exports to China more than doubled in April, 2016, year-over-year
  • in April, Chinese crude oil imports from Russia: 4.81 million metric tons
  • in March, one month earlier, almost as much: 4.65 million tons
  • whereas, two of China's three major oil suppliers saw a decline: Saudi Arabia and Iran
  • Saudi crude oil exports to China fell an astonishing 22 percent to 4.12 million tons
  • Iran crude oil exports to China fell 5.1 percent o 2.76 million tons
  • Angola: increased its business with China by 39 percent to 3.98 million tons
EIA: Russia has overtaken Saudi Arabia as China's leading supplier of crude oil at the end of 2015
And more: new projects worth several billion dollars between Russia and China have led the two countries to cooperate closely regarding energy industry issues.
One or two swallows does not a spring make, but this is incredibly interesting on many accounts.

Some One-Liners

Prince Salman: welcome to the world of realpolitik.

Vietnam, Kissinger, China, Russia: what goes around, comes around.

I can imagine Russia and China have a lot more joint ventures that make sense than any with Saudi Arabia.

Saudi may be in worse shape than we realize.

Even if it didn't make sense economically for Russia to work with China, politically it is definitely in Russia's interests.

China will probably do things based on economic / financial basis alone. Russia will think politically as much as economically / financially. 

It will be interesting if The Wall Street Journal or Business Insider picks up on any of this.

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