BEIJING/SINGAPORE- Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, kept its ranking as China's top crude supplier for a 10th month in September, increasing its volumes by 2% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Wednesday.

Saudi oil arrivals totalled 7.96 million tonnes, or 1.94 million barrels per day (bpd), data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

That was up from 1.89 million bpd in September last year, but just below 1.96 million bpd in August.

Supplies from second-ranked Russia fell 18% year-on-year to 6.14 million tonnes last month, or 1.49 million bpd, versus 1.59 million bpd in August.

The easing of volumes from both suppliers came as China's total crude oil imports fell 15.3% last month versus year-ago levels after companies drew on inventories amid rising global prices and as tightened import quotas constrained purchases. 

Supplies from Brazil fell 64% from a year earlier, while those from the United States shrank by 83%.

Crude oil arrivals from Malaysia more than quadrupled on a year ago to 1.92 million tonnes, with traders saying refiners might have rebranded Venezuelan heavy oil previously passed on as bitumen blend into Malaysian crude after Beijing imposed hefty import taxes on blending fuels. 

Official data has consistently shown China has imported zero oil from Iran or Venezuela since start of 2021.

(Reporting by Chen Aizhu in Singapore and Muyu Xu in Beijing; editing by Richard Pullin) ((; Reuters Messaging: