China swoops on cheap Russian oil as Western supplies dry up

The increased buying by the Kremlin ally threatens to undermine Western sanctions aimed at cutting off revenue from Moscow.

US President Joe Biden said oil embargoes would target a “main artery of Russia’s economy,” but China’s buying suggests its energy giants are adjusting to the sanctions even as Moscow faces a huge recession.

Higher energy prices also risk pushing western economies into recession as rising costs put pressure on households.

Mr Putin claimed last week that the sanctions are proving to be “more harmful” to the countries that impose them. However, economists expect Russia’s economy to survive a two-year recession.

Analysts expect oil prices to remain elevated as Chinese demand recovers from lockdowns.

Mark Haefele, Chief Investment Officer at UBS, said: “Demand for crude oil from China, the world’s largest importer, should recover slowly as mobility restrictions are eased.

“Crude oil stocks are likely to remain tight. An OPEC+ commitment to increase production is unlikely to result in a significant increase in global supply as the group is already struggling to meet existing production targets.” China swoops on cheap Russian oil as Western supplies dry up

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