(Adds details, background)
* Russian supplies at 1.09 mln bpd, up 50.2 pct
* Saudi shipments at 1.03 mln bpd, up 11.7 pct
* Oman shipments at 837,396 mln bpd, up 37.9 pct
* Iran imports at 746,029 bpd, up 48.4 pct
BEIJING, Sept 22 Russia reclaimed the top spot
as China's largest crude oil exporter in August from Angola,
customs data showed on Wednesday, reflecting stockpile building
and increasing demand from independent refiners during the
Russian imports surged 50.2 percent in August to 4.64
million tonnes, or 1.09 million barrels per day (bpd), as demand
from independent refineries, also known as teapots, picked up.
Russia was the biggest Chinese supplier for the first time
since May after Angola shipped the most in July. Saudi Arabia
has also held the top spot.
For the first eight months of the year, Russian imports have
climbed 30 percent higher than last year to 34.14 million
tonnes, or 977,330 bpd.
Falling domestic oil production has squeezed commercial
inventory, promoting refiners to increase imports in August to
refill storage, according to a research note from BMI research.
The unfolding maintenance season as well as newly opened
storage facilities will further help imports in the fourth
quarter, BMI said.
Teapot refiners operating in the northeastern Chinese
province of Shandong increased their run rates to as high as
46.9 percent of capacity during August, according a report from
ICIS-C1 Energy last month.
China imported 4.36 million tonnes, or 1.03 million bpd, of
oil from Saudi Arabia, up 11.7 percent year on year.
For the year to date, Saudi remained the top supplier with
shipments rising 1 percent from a year earlier to 997,520 bpd.
Shipments from Oman in August rose 37.9 percent from a year
earlier to 3.56 million tonnes, or 837,396 bpd.
Supplies from Iran were up 48.4 percent in August to 3.17
million tonnes, or 746,029 bpd. For the first eight months of
the year, imports rose 7 percent from the year earlier period to
20.55 million tonnes, or 588,294 bpd.
Imports from Iraq fell 28.9 percent in August from a year
earlier to 2.4 million tonnes, or 545,161 bpd. In the January to
August period, imports gained 4.6 percent from a year ago.
China's total crude imports last month grew nearly a quarter
above year-ago level to the second-highest ever.
(tonne =7.3 barrels for crude oil)
(Reporting by Meng Meng and Aizhu Chen; Editing by Christian