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Saudi retains top oil supplier to China despite yr/yr drop - customs

FILE PHOTO: Buildings are seen in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia maintained its spot as China’s top oil supplier in February, two months into the first OPEC output cuts in almost a decade, despite a near 13 percent fall in shipments from a year ago, data showed on Thursday.

China imported 4.77 million tonnes of crude oil from Saudi Arabia, or about 1.24 million barrels per day, according to data from the Chinese General Administration of Customs

Russia was China’s second-biggest supplier with shipments of 4.29 million tonnes, or 1.12 million bpd, a gain of 4.5 percent on a year earlier.

Angola ranked third with supplies falling 32 percent to a daily rate of just under 850,000 bpd, the data showed.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is curbing its output by about 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from Jan. 1 for six months, the first reduction in eight years. Russia and other non-OPEC producers agreed to cut half as much.

(tonne=7.3 barrels for crude conversion)

Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Richard Pullin