The volume of oil purchased in May was about one and a half times more than a year ago
China increased its imports of crude oil from Russia in May, which helped Moscow offset losses from lower purchases of Russian energy products Western countries in connection with the invasion of Ukraine.
The increase in imports, confirmed by customs data, means that Russia has overtaken Saudi Arabia as the main supplier of oil to China amid Western sanctions against Russian energy exports.
The world's second largest economy imported 8.42 million tons of oil from Russia in May, up 55 percent from a year ago.
Beijing has refused to publicly condemn Moscow's war and is instead benefiting economically from isolation of its neighbor.
China imported 7.82 million tons of oil from Saudi Arabia in May.
The cost of Russian energy products purchased in May amounted to $7.47 billion, which is about 1 million A liard more than in April, Bloomberg News reported.
The new customs data comes four months after the start of the war in Ukraine, with buyers from the US and Europe refusing to import Russian energy products or promising to cut them in the coming months.