China's imports from Saudi Arabia fell in May

China’s imports from Saudi Arabia fell in May

China’s imports from Saudi Arabia fell 21 per cent in May from a year earlier but retained their top ranking among suppliers for a ninth month in a row.

Customs data showed on Sunday (Jun 20).

Shipments from Saudi Arabia were 7.2 million tons last month, or 1.69 million barrels per day (bpd), data from the General Administration of Chinese Customs showed.

That compared to 6.47 million tons in April and 9.16 million in May 2020.

Imports from second-largest supplier Russia also dropped from a month earlier, to 5.44 million tons, or 1.28 million bpd.

The scale-backs by the top two exporters were in line with a steep annual decline of nearly 15 per cent to this year’s lowest total crude imports into China.

Imports from United Arab Emirates arrivals fell 25 per cent last month from year-ago levels.

That is a possible sign that Iranian oil shipments were slowing further from peaks early this year.

Amid talks between Tehran and world powers to revive the nuclear deal the United States exited in 2018.

Reuters has reported that Iran has sold record amounts of oil since late 2020, disguised as crude oil from other origins that included the UAE and Oman.

The customs’ database also showed a 3.6 per cent year-on-year rise to 1.04 million tons of imports from Malaysia.

Which traders said has been a key transshipment point for heavy crude blends from Venezuela.

Official data has consistently recorded zero imports from Caracas since October 2019.

As dominant state importer CNPC halted loading, fearful of US sanctions.

Venezuela oil, however, had slipped into China, passed on as Malaysian bitumen blend after transshipments in Malaysian waters, analysts said.

Imports from the United States reached 1.07 million tons, nearly doubled the level a year earlier.

Source: Channel News Asia: Business Singapore

Singapore starts to import shrimp from Saudi Arabia

Singapore starts to import shrimp from Saudi Arabia

Singapore has begun importing shrimp from Saudi Arabia, the first time it is doing so from the Middle Eastern kingdom, part of its efforts to diversify its supply chains to safeguard food security.

The move could spark greater trade between the two countries as they start looking at the products available on both sides, said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing at an event to mark the trade-in shrimps on Wednesday.

He said: “Prior to this, I think very few of us would have thought of importing shrimp from Saudi Arabia. It is not something that comes to mind. But now that we know this can be done, and it can be done in a very price-competitive manner, then we can explore with the Saudi embassy and suppliers what other products they can offer.

“Likewise, these Saudi suppliers have also seen the products available in both Singapore and the region, which they could also bring back to Saudi Arabia. So that’s how the nature of the trade flows continues to improve, and as we go along, the price of the logistics will continue to come down, because people become more efficient.”

Managing director of The Seafood Company Kenneth Chua told reporters at the event held at a FairPrice outlet in VivoCity that around 60 tons have been imported so far, with another 60 tons expected to be here by the end of the year.

Where will the shrimp suppliers be at the moment?

The shrimps, which are sourced from the Red Sea, are currently supplied to FairPrice as well as other restaurants and food stall owners.

Seah Kian Peng, group chief executive of FairPrice Group, said that Singapore’s prawns are imported from all over the world. This includes nearer countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, and places as far as Canada and Ecuador.

“This shows that we continue to diversify our sources so that any point in time, there will be minimal, hopefully, no disruption to supplies. At the same time… consumers can look forward to something which is (competitive) in terms of taste, quality, and price,” he said.

The Red Sea shrimps are being sold at $13.90 for 800g. They are priced at a premium as they are known for their rich flavor, thanks to the Red Sea’s high salinity compared to the seawater in other parts of the world.

Other types of frozen shrimp sourced from places like Vietnam and China are being sold at around $10 for 1kg.

Singapore currently imports food from more than 170 countries and regions.

Chan said on the sidelines of the event that Singapore is constantly on its feet in diversifying its food supply chains.

He added: “At this point in time, it is not sufficient just to say which supply chains might be disrupted. What is more important is to have a sense of what are the supply chains that might be disrupted in a few weeks’ time or a few months’ time, so that we can put in the orders and secure the supplies ahead of time.”

Source: The Star