China shipped in over 295,000 bpd of Iranian oil in 2019: customs

February 2, 2020 - 18:0

TEHRAN – China imported 295,400 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian crude oil on average during 2019, despite U.S. pressure to wipe out oil exports from Iran to the country, IRNA reported, citing Chinese customs data. 

The Asian country imported around 405,000 tons of crude oil in December while annual volumes totaled 14.77 million tons, about half the imports of 2018, the data showed.

As reported by the South China Hong Kong newspaper, despite all the U.S. efforts, China is still one of Iran’s biggest trade partners.

China has remained Iran’s top oil buyer despite sanctions Trump unilaterally re-imposed on Tehran’s oil exports in 2018 after withdrawing the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers.

Since April 2019, when the United States announced that buyers of Iranian oil should stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions, China has been constantly opposing Washington’s policies toward Iran and Chinese officials have repeatedly announced that they will continue purchasing oil from Iran.

China imported about 494,000 barrels a day of Iranian crude in the first five months of this year, compared with more than 660,000 barrels a day in the same period in 2018. 

The United States on Friday lifted sanctions on one of two units of the Chinese tanker company COSCO, the U.S. Treasury said, partially reversing its punishment on the company for transporting Iranian oil after China complained about the measure in trade talks with Washington.

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