Saudi Arabia is dramatically changing its oil exports to China and the US. Here's what that means

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A worker stands at a pipeline, watching a flare stack at the Saudi Aramco oil field complex facilities in Shaybah, Saudi Arabia.

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Saudi Arabia has seriously ramped up its oil exports to China in recent months.

How dramatic is the change? Take a look at this graph, which uses data from oil tanker tracking firm

The Saudi Kingdom’s crude shipments to China have doubled in the span of a year. During the same period, its oil exports to the U.S. have dropped by nearly two-thirds.

According to, which tracks oil tankers and shipments based on satellite imagery and ships’ automatic identification systems, Saudi Arabia exported a whopping 1,802,788 barrels per day (bpd) to China in July, compared to 921,811 bpd in August of 2018. By contrast, exports to the U.S. in July were 262,053 bpd, nearly 62%


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