EghtesadOnline: China’s still importing oil from Iran weeks after the US imposed sanctions aimed at halting sales of crude from the Persian Gulf nation.
Official customs data on Friday showed China imported 855,638 tons in June, the equivalent of about 209,000 barrels a day, Bloomberg reported.
All eyes are on China’s oil purchases as Donald Trump’s administration continues to clamp down on companies and individuals flouting its restrictions.
The shipments that arrived at Chinese ports in June could nevertheless constitute the “incidental transactions” that US officials had previously said may occur without breaching restrictions. With a three to four-week voyage from Iran to China, it’s possible that some of the oil loaded before May 2 and arrived in China in June, Financial Tribune reported.
According to industry consultant FGE, about 450,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil were in transit as of early May when the US-issued waivers expired.
China imported about 494,000 barrels a day of Iranian crude in the first five months of this year, compared to more than 660,000 barrels a day in the same period in 2018.
In June, the Asian nation was expected to ramp up purchases from other major oil-producing countries in the Middle East, West Africa and Russia to make up for the loss of supplies from Iran.