China's crude oil imports jumped 20.8 percent in April from a year earlier to record high of 27.88 million tons, or 6.81 million barrels a day (bpd), government data showed Thursday.
Imports were up 2.3 percent from a previous daily record of 6.66 million bpd in January, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs.
China's net imports of petroleum and other liquids began exceeding those of the US since last September on a monthly basis, making it the largest net importer of crude oil and other liquids in the world, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a report in March. "The rise in China's net imports of petroleum and other liquids is driven by steady economic growth, with rapidly rising Chinese petroleum demand outpacing production growth," the statistical agency within the Department of Energy said.
The EIA also pointed out that China has been diversifying the sources of its crude oil imports in recent years as a result of robust oil demand growth and recent geopolitical uncertainties.
Saudi Arabia continues to be its largest supplier of crude oil, but "because production levels from Iran, Libya, and Sudan and South Sudan dropped since 2011, China replaced the lost shares of crude oil and other liquids imports from these countries with imports from Oman, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Angola, Venezuela, and Russia," it added.