China’s crude oil imports from Iran hit a five-year high in April at 792,380 bpd or 3.24 million tons, before the expiry of US sanction waivers for Iranian oil on May 2, data released by the Customs General Administration showed.
China, the world’s top oil importer, is set to start 2019 buying little or no crude from the United States despite a three-month truce in a trade scrap between the two nations, with relatively high freight costs and political uncertainty choking demand.
Some Iranian crude exports are coming into the international market through non-Iranian companies that are offering their VLCCs for transporting as well as storing Tehran's oil, several oil shipping industry sources in Malaysia, Singapore, the UK and China said this week.
The United States cannot stop Iranian oil exports by imposing sanctions on Iran, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Tuesday, warning that such restrictions would ensure that the market remains volatile.
National Iranian Oil Company has set the September official selling price (OSP) for Iranian Light crude to Asia at $1.20 a barrel above the average of Oman and Dubai quotes, 80 cents lower than the previous month, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Friday.
China’s largest independent oil refining company says it has stopped buying crude from the United States and has already turned to Iranian imports amid growing trade tensions between Beijing and Washington.