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China nominates full contract amount of Iran oil in August

Iran Oil export

China expected to load about 16 mln barrels of Iranian oil in Aug; Monthly volumes seen largely steady for rest of year; China in freight talks with Iran tanker firm as vessel costs vary

August 7, 2012 3:37 by

China, Iran’s top oil customer and trading partner, has nominated full contract volumes of Iranian crude for loading this month, steady with July, trade sources said, after imports from the Middle Eastern country hit an all-month high in June.

China is expected to load just over 16 million barrels of Iranian oil in August, the second month that it is using the vessels of National Iranian Tanker Co. (NITC) to deliver oil to its ports to get around a European Union insurance ban.

Iran’s oil exports halved in the four months from February to June because of sanctions aimed at choking off oil revenue and forcing Tehran to curb its nuclear programme, which the West believes is aimed at developing weapons, a motive Iran denies.

“The volume for August has been confirmed,” said a Beijing-based oil official with direct knowledge of the matter.

“For the rest of the year, the volumes should be largely steady each month. We are not expecting big fluctuations,” said a second official.

Both declined to be named because company policy forbids it.

China, Iran’s biggest trading partner, in July loaded a similar amount of Iranian oil, or roughly 520,000 barrels per day (bpd), a level at which China would account for around half of Iran’s total July exports of about 1.1 million bpd.

The full contractual volume of July loadings followed surprisingly high imports in June, which were the highest in nearly a year as reported by Chinese customs. Some traders believed it was a one-off skewing in the data tally, while others suspected China might have taken in extra bargain oil.

The EU sanctions that took effect on July 1 forced China to ask NITC to deliver crude, as Chinese vessels can no longer buy cover from the European insurers who dominate the sector.

Chinese firms would still need to negotiate with NITC the freight cost for each vessel for August loadings as the cost of each ship varies. But both sides expected the talks to be smoother than in July, when a freight dispute briefly threatened to delay the shipments.

“So far two vessels have already been loaded,” said the first official.

(Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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1 Comment

  1. Louise on August 8, 2012 12:57 pm

    America’s issue with Iran is all about geopolitical power. The only major oil producer that is not part of the ‘US club’ in the Middle East is Iran, which means that Iran can sell its oil in any currency it wishes. China and India are rising powers and it is not in their interests to let the US control the world’s oil supply, hence they are ignoring the US sanctions. The US sees the EU’s Euro as a currency that is eating it’s lunch and obviously the EU is going to want to buy it commodities, including oil, using their own currency. The only way that the US can keep the hegemony of the US dollar is by trying to get everyone to stop trading with Iran so that the US can destroy Iran’s economy and then make it part of the ‘US club.’ Without the US dollar as the currency of trade the US is finished mainly due to the fact that it does not have the political will to cut its massive government deficit.

    America’s issue with Iran has nothing to do with nuclear weapons, its all about geopolitical power.

    Confidence in the US dollar and economy has already been lost. Nothing will stop the ongoing move away from using the US dollar for trade in the EU or Asia, so America is fighting a losing battle.

    Americans are the only ones being fooled into thinking that America’s issue with Iran is over nuclear weapons, the rest of the world is wide awake to what is happening.


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