China’s Imports of Saudi Oil Soar 76% in October as Demand Increases

China’s crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia rose over 75% in October as demand from new refiners was met by the Kingdom, according to Reuters data.

The 76.3% rise in October was boosted by demand particularly from from two new integrated refineries, the Hengli Petrochemical Co. in the north, and Zhejiang Petrochemical in the south, Reuters reports.

Saudi Arabia is China’s largest supplier of oil.

According to Reuters, the impact of a drone and missile attack on Saudi oil-processing plants on Sept. 14 “did not limit October oil flows, as Saudi Aramco drew on inventories to maintain supplies to customers.”

Saudi Arabia and China have continued to strengthen bilateral political, security, and economic ties in recent years. Earlier this month, China was said to be mulling up to a $10 billion stake in Saudi Aramco as the world’s largest company prepares to list shares on the Tadawul index.

The Kingdom and China recently announced the start of a three-week long joint naval training exercise in Saudi Arabia. China’s armed forces said that “the joint training aims to enhance the mutual trust and friendly relations between the two navies, strengthen the maritime combat capability of the participants, exchange experiences and improve the training level.”

Meanwhile, as Saudi Arabia begins to open up to outside visitors, China was the second largest group of applicants for the Kingdom’s new tourist visas behind the UK, according to Bloomberg.