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China's Iran oil imports in April at 11-month high

Staff writer |
China's crude imports last month from Iran were 2.91 million tons, or 707,400 barrels per day (bpd), up 10.8 percent from March, the highest since last May, official customs data showed.

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China's April imports from Iran were well above from the 2014 average of 550,000 bpd, Reuters reported.

Iran is currently China's third largest supplier of crude, providing Beijing with roughly 12 percent of its total annual oil consumption.

China imported a record amount of crude oil from Iran in the first half of 2014 amid a loosening of sanctions against Tehran, further increasing Beijing's reliance on the Middle-East oil supplies.

Chinese customs data showed that Iranian oil imports in the first six months of 2014 were 630,000 barrels a day, up 48% from the same period last year, the Wall Street Journal reported.

That is the most crude that China has ever imported from Iran in any first half in history, according to Li Li, the head of research and analytics at consultancy ICIS C1 Energy.

Iran represented about 10% of China's foreign crude purchases in the first half.

Managing Director of the China office of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Maziyar Hojjati said easing of sanctions against Tehran has contributed to the surge in imports.