China imported record monthly volumes in June from each of its top two suppliers. Both Saudi Arabia and Russia more than compensated for a fall in official takings from Iran to 208,000 b/d, the lowest level since May 2010.

China’s June imports from Saudi Arabia (1.879mn b/d) and Russia (1.748mn b/d) were both all-time highs. For 2016-18 Russia was clear top supplier: 2018 volumes were 300,000 b/d ahead of Saudi. But for the first six months of 2019 Saudi volumes have leapt by 390,000...