Iran is second Chinese crude oil supplier
Azerbaijan , Baku, April 6 / Trend, A.Yusifzade /
Iran 's crude oil export to China increased by 62 percent to 4.11 million tons in first two months of this year, compared to the similar period of 2010, FNA reported.
Chinese crude oil import increased by 23.6 percent to 45.73 million tons in this period.
Iran supplied about 9 percent of China's total crude imports last year when total Chinese crude purchases surged 17.5 percent, shrinking from a figure of 11.3 percent in the previous year, Chinese customs data showed.
China, which imports nearly 55 percent of the crude oil it refines, is forecast to raise imports to 8 million bpd in 2020, two-thirds more than it imported last year.
Unless Iran makes its oil prices more attractive versus competing supplies from the rest of the Middle East or South American exporters, it may be hard for the OPEC member to boost its share in the rapidly expanding Chinese market, Reuters reported.
China 's Iranian crude imports fell by nearly a third in the first half of 2010 from the year-earlier level, but started to claw back the third spot since June.
Zhuhai Zhenrong supplies the bulk of the 240,000-bpd oil to refineries run by Sinopec Corp and a small amount of roughly 20,000 bpd to PetroChina, China's second-largest refiner.
China , the world's largest buyer of Iranian crude oil, has renewed its annual import pacts for 2011, keeping volumes steady at some 460,000 barrels per day (bpd).