China is guzzling crude oil. Where is it all coming from?

The world’s second-largest economy has surged past the U.S. to become the largest importer of the commodity. Here’s a map showing its dependence on Middle East supplies.
January 22, 2020 11:30 AM UTC
TOPSHOT - This aerial photo taken on August 4, 2019 shows tugboats berthing an oil tanker at Qingdao port in Qingdao in China's eastern Shandong province. - China's good shipments abroad beat expectations to rise in July while its purchases continued to shrink, official data showed on August 8. (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUT (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
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Over the last few years, China has surged past the U.S. to become the world’s largest importer of foreign oil. A hefty portion of that supply originates from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and other Middle East exporters. Research firm Wood Mackenzie estimates that China will import 9.1 million barrels per day of crude in 2020, with some 3.5 million barrels, or 38%, of that total coming from the ­Middle East. (Russia and Africa, the next biggest suppliers to the globe’s second-biggest economy, are each expected to send 1.8 million barrels per day to China in 2020.) But China’s neighbors are even more dependent on the region: WoodMac projects that 57% of the total daily oil imports to Asia in 2020 will originate from the Middle East.

Source: Wood McKenzie

A version of this article appears in the February 2020 issue of Fortune with the headline “The Cartographer: China Guzzles Middle East Crude.”

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