March 15, 2021 [Tehran Media] – Iranian crude oil exports to China are surging and expected to hit record highs in March despite the U.S. sanctions on the country’s oil industry.
Chinese imports of Iranian crude oil are expected to hit 856,000 barrels a day in March, the most in almost two years and up 129 percent from last month, Bloomberg reported quoting traders and analysts.
As reported, Iranian shipments to the province of Shandong, which accounts for a quarter of China’s refining capacity, have surged so much this month they’re causing congestion at ports and filling up storage tanks.
The surge in China’s crude imports from Iran comes as many of other Iranian oil buyers are still waiting for the U.S. President Joe Biden to remove sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
“The surge is related to lower costs but also, politically, to a sense that this might be an interim period between the outgoing administration and the Biden administration figuring out its position on Iran,” said Michal Meidan, director of the China Energy Program at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.
Iranian oil production and exports have been both increasing over the past few months despite the U.S. sanctions and the Iranian Oil Ministry has announced its readiness for boosting the country’s crude oil output to the pre-sanction levels in case of the U.S. rejoining the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Back in January, the data from SVB International and two other firms indicated that Iranian oil exports were climbing in January after a boost in the fourth quarter despite U.S. sanctions.
Iran’s Deputy Oil Minister Amir Hossein Zamaninia had said earlier that the country started boosting its oil production and would be able to reach pre-sanction levels within two months.
Iranian oil won’t create any surplus in the oil market and the market will be able to accommodate the country’s maximum oil output of around 3.9 million to four million barrels a day, Bloomberg quoted Zamaninia as saying on the sidelines of the Iran Oil Show in Tehran in late January.
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