Recent OPEC+ production cuts have changed the dynamics of the global oil trade. Lower exports from gulf producers pushes up the price of the Middle East Oman/Dubai benchmark.
In July, Saudi Arabia’s oil exports to China declined by 23% to 1.26 million barrels per day (bpd), where-as Chinese imports of U.S. crude oil increased 139 % to around 864,200 bpd.
Saudi Arabia has also lost Chinese market share to Brazil.
International observers feel this move not motivated by a desire to thaw trade tensions, but simply a case of the Chinese looking for cheap oil.