September 26, 2017 / 7:32 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Russia keeps spot as China's top oil supplier for sixth month

* Aug supply from Russia at 1.04 mln bpd, ranking top since March

* Aug imports from Saudi Arabia down 16 pct on yr at 861,200 bpd

* Saudi Arabia ranks third after Angola

* Iran Aug shipments the highest monthly volume since 2006 (Adds detail including imports from Iran, Iraq)

By Chen Aizhu

BEIJING, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Russia beat Saudi Arabia to become China’s top crude oil supplier for a sixth month in August, as independent refiners ramped up purchases and as state-owned refiners bought seaborne shipments from the Russian Far East port of Kozmino.

China’s crude oil imports from Russia in August were 4.426 million tonnes, or about 1.04 million barrels per day (bpd), down 4.5 percent over the same month last year, according to a detailed breakdown of commodity trade data released on Tuesday by the General Administration of Customs.

For the first eight months of 2017, Russia’s volumes rose 13 percent year-on-year to 38.65 million tonnes, or 1.16 million bpd.

Supplies from Saudi Arabia last month dropped 16.2 percent from a year earlier to 3.657 million tonnes, or about 861,200 bpd, with the kingdom the third-biggest China supplier, slipping behind Angola.

Shipments from Angola last month surged nearly 28 percent from a year ago to about 983,500 bpd, the data showed.

Saudi supplies for the January-August period fell 1.7 percent on-year to 34.24 million tonnes, or 1.03 million bpd.

Reuters reported last week that Russian state oil firm Rosneft, the world’s largest producer, is poised to send 50 percent more ESPO blend crude to state-run Chinese major PetroChina next year compared to 2017.

China’s imports of U.S. crude, which started last year, were about 107,620 bpd in August and totalled 5.26 million tonnes for the January to August period.

Imports from Iran last month were up 5.45 percent from the same time a year ago at 3.34 million tonnes, or 786,720 bpd. That was the highest monthly amount since 2006, according to data on Reuters Eikon.

Imports for Iraq increased 30 percent to 736,400 bpd, the data showed.

China’s total crude oil imports slid to their lowest level since January at around 8 million bpd, as some independent plants in the independent refining hub of Shandong closed for longer-than-expected overhauls amid a wave of government environmental checks.

tonne=7.3 barrels Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Joseph Radford

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