Date: 18 August 2023 ، the watch 00:45
News ID: 11136

China’s Iranian oil imports hit 10-year record high: report

China’s oil imports from Iran have been soaring in August so that the shipments are expected to reach 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd), the highest since 2013, Blomberg reported citing estimates from data intelligence firm Kpler.

Based on the Kpler data, China shipped in 917,000 bpd of Iranian oil on average during the January-July 2023 period.
Iran has been ramping up oil exports this year as it becomes more geopolitically assertive, with most of the shipments heading to China, Bloomberg said.
As reported, Iran's two main grades are currently trading at a discount of more than $10 a barrel compared to Brent, which is cheaper than the Russian variety.

In late July, Kpler said that Iran’s oil shipments to China have more than tripled over the past three years despite the U.S. sanctions on the country and the increase in Russia’s shipments to the Asian country.
According to the data analyzing firm, Iranian crude exports to its major trade partner have been hovering around one million bpd in 2023, while the figure was roughly 325,000 bpd in 2020.

Also, the International Energy Agency (IEA) in a recent report titled "Oil 2023" confirmed Iran's daily export of one million barrels of oil to China, saying: “Despite severe financial restrictions, Iran managed to increase its crude oil production by about 140,000 barrels per day in 2022 to an average of 2.5 million barrels per day. It seems that Tehran has maintained its crude sales to China, which has been around one million barrels per day since the third quarter of last year.”

According to official data, Iranian oil production also increased in the current year so that in May the country’s oil output reached 2.9 bpd, 350,000 bpd more than in 2022.
Earlier in April, Bloomberg reported that “Chinese private refineries are buying more Iranian oil despite the rising competition for supplies from Russia.”

“So-called teapots are prioritizing the flows, with Russian supplies getting pricier as mainstream buyers such as state-owned Chinese refiners and Indian processors take a greater share,” the report read.
In March, China’s imports of Iranian crude and condensate jumped 20 percent month-on-month to 800,000 barrels a day, and are on track to extend gains in coming months, Emma Li, an analyst with data intelligence firm Vortexa Ltd told Bloomberg that month.
While Iranian oil has long been sanctioned by the U.S., refiners in China have proved to be a consistent outlet.

Most Iranian oil used to go to state-owned refineries but “the private refiners in Shandong especially are now running the show,” said Homayoun Falakshahi, senior crude oil analyst at Kpler.

Source: Tehran Times