Register with us today

and in less than 60 seconds continue your access to:Latest news headlinesAnalytical topics and featuresCommodities videos, podcast & blogsSample market prices & dataSpecial reportsSubscriber notes & daily commodity email alerts

Already have an account?

Log in to register

Forgot Password

Please Note: Platts Market Center subscribers can only reset passwords via the Platts Market Center

Enter your Email ID below and we will send you an email with your password.

  • Email Address* Please enter email address.

If you are a premium subscriber, we are unable to send you your password for security reasons. Please contact the Client Services team.

If you are a Platts Market Center subscriber, to reset your password go to the Platts Market Center to reset your password.

In this list
Oil | Shipping

As US sanctions increase, China remains Iran's top crude, condensate importer

Commodities | Coal | LNG | Natural Gas | Natural Gas (North American) | Oil | Crude Oil | Steel | Shipping | Coronavirus

Market Movers Americas, Aug 3-7: Brent-WTI spread at widest since May

Shipping | Marine Fuels

Platts Bunkerworld

Capital Markets | Commodities | Oil | Crude Oil | Refined Products | Fuel Oil | Gasoline | Jet Fuel | Naphtha | Marine Fuels | Equities | Financial Services | Banking | Non-banks | Private Markets

North American Crude Oil Summit, 3rd annual

Coal | Emissions | Electric Power | Oil | Metals | Steel

UK July new car registrations up 11.3% on year: SMMT

As US sanctions increase, China remains Iran's top crude, condensate importer


Initial phase of trade deal expected to be signed on Jan 15

China no longer importing Iranian crude: Mnuchin

Iran/China flows just 225,000 b/d in H219, down from 650,000 b/d in 2018

Washington — China and the US are expected to sign phase one of their trade deal Wednesday at the White House, with the timing potentially complicated by increased US sanctions pressure on Iran and China's current status as Iran's top crude oil and condensate importer.

Not registered?

Receive daily email alerts, subscriber notes & personalize your experience.

Register Now

On Friday, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin downplayed that complication, claiming that China has effectively cut its purchases of Iranian crude to zero.

"The China state companies are not buying oil from Iran," Mnuchin told reporters.

Despite US sanctions, which have intensified following Iran's strike in Iraq Tuesday, China remains the largest buyer of Iranian crude despite US sanctions.

In recent months, a large share of Iranian oil flowing to China has been going via the UAE and Malaysia, both of which are popular hubs for ship-to-ship transfers, according to sources.

In much of 2019, China was also offloading Iranian oil from its bonded storage in Dalian, located in the north of the country, sources added. Though flows to China from Iran have also dramatically decreased over the past year.

Iranian crude and condensate exports to China averaged around 225,000 b/d in the second half of 2019 compared to 400,000 b/d in the first half, according to Platts estimates. In 2018, Iran exported around 650,000 b/d of oil to China, according to S&P Global Platts cFlow data and shipping sources.

Mnuchin added that the US continued to work with China, and other longtime Iranian oil buyers, to end potentially illicit imports of Iran crude.

"We are having conversations with China, as well with any other counterparty, on sanctions evasion," he said.

In an interview with Platts in November, Brian Hook, the US State Department's special representative for Iran, said the US was not considering easing sanctions on Iranian crude exports, either in exchange for a trade concession from China or any other action which falls short of meeting the demands outlined by the Trump administration in May.

"In the case of China, they now understand that we will sanction any sanctionable activity, especially illicit imports of Iranian crude oil," Hook said.

In September, the US Treasury Department sanctioned six Chinese entities and their top executives, including two affiliates of Cosco Shipping, for trading oil with Iran in violation of US sanctions. The US previously sanctioned China's state-owned trading company Zhuhai Zhenrong and its top executive for oil trade with Iran.

President Trump and Liu He, China's vice premier, are expected to sign phase one of the US-China trade deal Wednesday at the White House.

"Phase one is very significant," Mnuchin said Friday. "It includes very significant components of changes to technology issues, intellectual property issues, and $50 billion of purchases for our farmers."