China’s imports of crude oil and coal imports from Russia exploded in August, data showed on Tuesday, but despite the jump in supply, Russia handed back its top oil supplier ranking to Saudi Arabia for the first time in four months, even as coal exports hit a record high. According to data from the Chinese General Administration of Customs , imports of Russian oil, including supplies pumped via the East Siberia Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline and seaborne shipments from Russia’s European and Far Eastern ports, totalled 8.342 million tonnes, up 28% Y/Y, the equivalent of 1.96 million barrels per day (bpd), and just slightly off May’s record of nearly 2 million bpd. China is Russia’s largest oil buyer, especially now that most of the western world has sanctioned Russian energy. China’s purchases of Russian oil have soared in order to reap the benefits of a plunge in European buying […]