A large shipment of Iranian crude has been delivered to China, according to a report and amid statements by Iranian government authorities insisting that exports to China have been robust despite claims that increased Russian supply of crude to China has affected Iranian shipments.
The Wednesday report by Reuters news agency said that China had taken delivery of 260,000 tons (nearly 2 million barrels) of Iranian crude in the past week at its southern port of Zhanjiang.
The report cited data by shipping tracking specialist Vortexa Analytics as well as an anti-Iran group based in the United States which tracks cases of US sanctions violations.
Iran’s supply of crude to China started to jump to record levels of above 1 million barrels per day (bpd) in the second half of 2021 despite a regime of American sanctions that ban purchases of Iranian oil for entities and governments that have interests in the US.
A bulk of the Iranian oil supply to China has been delivered to private refiners in the country. However, the Reuters report said Chinese customs is likely to include the records of the new delivery in its import data for June because the imports were meant for state reserves.
It said the new oil cargo had been delivered to Chinese authorities by vessel Dorena which is owned by the National Iranian Tanker Corp (NITC).
The report confirms statements by the Iranian Oil Ministry officials and others in the government denying that China has decreased its imports of oil from Iran because it has been receiving more supplies from Russia.
Recent data by the Chinese customs show that Iranian crude had accounted for nearly 7% of the East Asian country’s total crude imports in May which amounted to 10.8 million barrels per day.