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China's April crude imports from Iran hit record high
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BEIJING (Reuters) - China's April crude imports from Iran more than doubled from a year ago to a record of nearly 800,000 barrels per day (bpd), pushing imports in the first four months of 2014 above levels seen before tougher Western sanctions were applied in 2012.
 
China's crude imports from Iran in April rose 115.3 percent to 799,865 bpd, customs data showed on Wednesday, accelerating a rise in its intake from the OPEC member after the November nuclear deal that eased some sanctions on Tehran.
 
Under the temporary deal, Iran's exports are supposed to be held at an average 1 million bpd for the six months to July 20, but shipments to Asia have topped that level since November, according to customs and ship tracking data.
 
China's imports, added to India's intake of about 225,000 bpd in April and South Korea's 135,000 bpd, have put Asia's shipments of Iranian crude over the 1 million bpd limit for another month.
 
China's imports from Iran have been higher this year largely due to new volumes of condensate, a super light crude, and also because top refiner Sinopec Corp may have boosted liftings under a long-term agreement, traders said.
 
On a daily basis, China's April imports of Iranian oil rose 44 percent from March's 555,182 bpd.

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