Kuwait's crude oil exports to China in March hit a two-year high of 1.25 million tons, equivalent to around 295,000 barrels per day (bpd), up 70.9 percent from a year earlier, official data showed.
The figure was the highest since March 2012, when Kuwait's crude shipments to the world's second-biggest energy consumer recorded 1.30 million tons (308,000 bpd), according to the General Administration of Customs.
China's overall imports of crude oil in March edged up 2.0 percent from year-on-year to 5.56 million bpd. Saudi Arabia remained country's top supplier, although its shipments plunged 25.5 percent to 779,000 bpd, followed by Angola with 732,000 bpd, down 9.3 percent.
Russia became third, with exports from the country surging 38.6 percent to 599,000 bpd. Iraq ranked fourth and Iran fifth, respectively.
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 late 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.