TOKYO,27th February, 2017 (WAM) -- Kuwait's crude oil exports to China in January edged down 1.8 percent from a year earlier to 1.07 million tons, equivalent to around 253,000 barrels per day (bpd), government data showed on Monday.

Kuwaiti shipments of crude oil to China exceeded 250,000 bpd level for the third consecutive month, according to the General Administration of Customs.

China's overall imports of crude oil in January jumped 27.5 percent year-on-year to 8.05 million bpd.

Saudi Arabia returned to the nation's top supplier in the reporting month, with its shipments growing 18.8 percent on the year to 1.19 million bpd, followed by Angola with 1.17 million bpd, up 63.4 percent. Russia became third, with imports from the country surging 36.5 percent to 1.09 million bpd, Kuwait News Agency, KUNA, reported, citing government data.

Oman ranked fourth and Iraq fifth, respectively.

China drastically increased the quota for non-State crude imports in 2016 as it seeks to attract more private capital in the largely monopolised sector.

In 2015, the government gave private refineries, known as "teapot" refiners, the green light to directly import crude oil.

These private refiners are with relatively small capacities, ranging from 20,000 bpd to 100,000 bpd.

Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2017.