China's crude imports from the UAE hit a record high of 4.47 million mt, or 1.09 million b/d, in November amid lower official selling prices, making it China's third-largest supplier, data from General Administration of Customs showed Dec. 21.
The previous high was at 4.21 million mt in August 2020, GAC data showed.
The November volume represent a 70.7% year-on-year jump, and an 120.6% surge from October.
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co set the October OSP for its flagship Murban crude oil at $69.73/b, which was 5.1% lower than the $73.5/b OSP for September.
ADNOC's October OSPs for Umm Lulu, Das and Upper Zakum also fell in line with Murban, S&P Global Platts previously reported.
The October loading cargoes with cheaper OSPs were delivered into China in November.
In addition to the increased deliveries in November, the delayed discharge cargoes for Zhejiang Petroleum & Chemical also contributed to November's tally.
ZPC had at least two VLCCs of UAE-origin crudes that arrived in Zhejiang waters Oct. 20 and Oct. 10, respectively, and were not discharged until November, Platts data showed.
The integrated refinery was busy discharging crude cargoes in late-October with its newly gained 12 million mt import quotas for 2021, market sources said.
UAE delivers less in Jan-Nov
In January-November, China's crude imports from the UAE stood at 28.21 million mt, or 619,000 b/d, declining 7.3% year on year in line with the country's total crude inflow volume, GAC data showed.
Thanks to the year-on-year increases contributed by Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait, China's crude imports from the Middle East edged down 0.7% on the year in the first 11 months to 235.54 million mt, or 5.17 million b/d, to account for a 50.5% market share.
China's total crude imports decreased 7.3% year on year to 466.77 million mt in January-November.
The Asia-Pacific region was the only one to see increased supplies to China in the first 11 months, at 6.6% to 18.68 million mt, GAC data showed.
Malaysia was the top contributor with a 35.1% year-on-year rise to 15.5 million mt by supplying blending crudes from different origins, including barrels from Iran.
China's top crude suppliers: