Recent official figures show that China’s imports of crude oil from Iran jumped by 19.5 percent in May compared to the same period last year.
Figures released by the Chinese General Administration of Customs showed on Tuesday that the country imported around 619,300 barrels per day (bpd) of oil from Iran over the month.
Russia over the same period became the bigger supplier to China by exporting 1.24 million bpd of oil to the country. The figure showed an increase of a whopping 337 percent compared to the same period last year.
Shipments from second-ranking supplier Saudi Arabia grew 33.6 percent last month over the year-ago level to around 961,000 bpd, Reuters has said in a report quoting official data.
The increase in Iran’s oil exports to China comes as the Islamic Republic is seen to have rapidly boosted its exports at a much faster pace than earlier anticipated.
Reuters in a report in early June quoted traders as saying that Iran’s oil exports are now close to pre-sanction levels of around 2.5 million bpd.
This, they said, show that the country is regaining the share of the oil market it lost as a result of sanctions.
Iran's oil exports were between 2.1 and 2.3 million bpd in April and May, up from 1.3 million bpd a year ago, when Iran was shut out of the European market and dependent on limited shipments to Asian buyers, it added.
Asia is the main destination for crude shipped by foreign vessels, with India, China and Japan the biggest takers, said Reuters.