China buys more Iranian oil now than it did before sanctions

TEHRAN, Mar. 01 (MNA) – China's purchases of Iranian oil have risen to record levels in recent months, exceeding a 2017 peak when the trade was not subject to US sanctions, tanker tracking data showed.

 The ramping up of purchases by the world's top oil importer comes amid talks between Tehran and world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal that will lift US sanctions on Iranian oil exports. The talks have intensified in recent weeks, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

A return of Iranian oil will ease tight global supplies and cool crude prices that have touched $100 a barrel following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the report added.

Chinese imports exceeded 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) for January, according to estimates of three tanker trackers, surpassing the 623,000 bpd peak recorded by Chinese customs in 2017 before former US President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions in 2018 on Iranian oil exports.

One tracker estimated imports amounted to 780,000 bpd in November-December 2021 on average.

Record Chinese purchases of Iranian oil would mean less supply will be available to Tehran's previous buyers like Indian and European refiners should the sanctions be removed and the Islamic republic be allowed to resume oil exports, traders said.

MA/PR

News Code 184424

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