Russia has kept its top spot as oil supplier to China, beating Saudi Arabia for the second month in row, as independent refiners scooped up more volumes before their first batch of quotas expire.
Saudi Arabia and Russia, both vying for more market share in China, have said they support an oil cut extension until March 2018 to rein in a global crude glut and push up prices. Saudi Arabia and other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will meet on Thursday, along with non-OPEC oil ministers, to decide whether to extend the cuts.
Russia kept its lead even as shipments were down 1.9 percent from a year earlier to 4.715 million tonnes, or 1.15 million barrels per day, rising slightly from the March level at 1.104 million bpd, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.
Saudi arrivals in April were down 3.9 percent from a year ago to 3.96 million tonnes, or about 963,000 bpd, down from the 1.07 million bpd rate in March, customs data showed.
For the year to date, Saudi Arabia still stood a touch higher over Russia, with 18.314 million tonnes supplied versus Russia's 18.29 million tonnes.
Shipments from Angola shot up 15 percent from a year ago to 1.114 million bpd last month, making the country the second-largest supplier after Russia.
Data also showed China brought in about 652,100 bpd of crude oil from Iraq, down 14.7 percent from a year ago, and 641,100 bpd from Iran which was down 4.5 percent from a year earlier.