In May, Russia became China's top supplier of crude oil for the first time ever. This means that Russia has surpassed Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, and the largest supplier of crude oil to China until now. Analysts estimate that the development is caused by the "oil-for-loans" deals that China has made with Russia, reports the Wall Street Journal.
"Russian imports are likely to remain high in for the next many years to come, as these long-term contracts for crude oil start to affect the trade. According to our data registration, which began in 2007, this is the first time that Russia is China's biggest crude oil supplier," says Amrita Sen, head of oil research at Energy Aspects in London.