China’s oil imports from Iran have hit a record high as Iran ramps up output despite the threat of further US sanctions.
Tehran’s October output edged up to 3.17 million barrels per day, the highest since 2018, when Washington re-imposed sanctions on Iran, according to Reuters surveys and OPEC figures.
China’s October imports from Iran are estimated to have reached around 1.45 million bbl/d, the highest monthly level ever, Vortexa data showed.
China, the world’s largest crude importer and Iran’s primary customer for oil, bought an average of 1.05 million barrels per day (bbl/d) of Iranian oil in the first 10 months of 2023, according to ship tracking data from Vortexa. This marks a 60% increase compared to pre-sanction peaks recorded by Chinese customs in 2017.
In October, Iran’s oil output reached 3.17 million bbl/d, the highest since 2018 when Washington re-imposed sanctions on the country. Reuters surveys and OPEC figures confirm the rise in Iran’s oil production, indicating its resilience in the global oil market.
China’s October imports from Iran are estimated to have reached around 1.45 million bbl/d, marking the highest monthly level ever recorded, Vortexa data showed.
Most of the more than 40 independent Chinese refiners, known as teapots, process Iranian oil, according to Chinese traders. These teapots have little exposure to the dollar-based global financial system, allowing them to continue processing Iranian oil without the need to cooperate with Western firms on technology.
It is worth noting that China also purchases crude oil from other countries facing US sanctions, such as Russia and Venezuela.