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China's July oil imports from Iran down 28 pct m/m

Business Materials 21 August 2012 15:12
China's crude oil imports from Iran fell 28 percent in July from an 11-month high in June, and were down 30 percent from a year earlier, customs data showed on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
China's July oil imports from Iran down 28 pct m/m

China's crude oil imports from Iran fell 28 percent in July from an 11-month high in June, and were down 30 percent from a year earlier, customs data showed on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

China, Iran's top oil client, bought 1.93 million tonnes of Iranian crude in July, equivalent to about 454,500 barrels per day, versus 632,618 bpd in June, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.

On a year-on-year basis, July imports fell 30 percent versus 647,000 bpd in July 2011.

Imports for the first seven months totalled 433,450 bpd, 22 percent below year-ago levels largely due to steep cuts made in the first quarter as China and Iran wrangled over contract terms.

The United States and Europe have imposed heavy sanctions on Iran to force the government to halt its controversial nuclear programme that they believe is designed to develop atomic weapons, which Iran denies.

The July crude cargoes from Iran, most of which were loaded in June, were the last batch of cargoes before EU sanctions came into effect on July 1 barring European i n surers from covering tankers carrying Iranian oil anywhere in the world.

China's purchase represents about 41 percent of Iran's estimated total July exports of 1.1 million bpd.

The volume was, however, lower than a forecast by Geneva-based oil consultancy Petro-logistics that pegged China's July-arriving purchases at 590,000 bpd. It usually takes about 22 days to ship oil cargoes from Iran to China.

The United States granted China a six-month reprieve that went into effect on June 28 from financial sanctions against Iran. The waivers would only be issued if the affected countries showed significant reductions in imports of Iranian oil.

Earlier this month, industry officials told Reuters that China would lift at near full contract volumes of about 510,000 bpd for July and August, with the Iranian side providing shipping and third-party insurance and supplying China on a delivered basis.

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