Follow CGSP on Social Media

Listen to the CGSP Podcast

Chinese Oil Buying From Saudi Arabia Surges, Likely at Africa’s Expense

Saudi Arabia is emerging as an increasingly important hub on China’s Belt and Road Initiative as Beijing turns to the Kingdom for an increasingly large share of its oil procurement. Last year, two-way trade surged 23% year-on-year to $78 billion, and even amid the pandemic, it’s expected to move even higher this year due to China’s large demand for Saudi oil.

China’s relatively newfound taste for Saudi Arabian oil is coming at Africa’s expense, given that Beijing appears to be moving quickly to diversify its sourcing of vital commodities with the goal of not becoming overly dependent on any single region for a particular commodity.

  • Get a daily email packed with the latest China-Africa news and analysis.
  • Read exclusive insights on the key trends shaping China-Africa relations.
  • Full access to the News Feed that provides daily updates on Chinese engagement in Africa and throughout the Global South.

China, Africa and the Global South... find out what’s happening.

Subscribe today for unlimited access.

What is The China-Global South Project?


The China-Global South Project is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Global South stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalists and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Global South discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.