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China Has Been Hoarding Iranian Crude Oil

A number of high-profile reports last week cited data released on 26 July by China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC) as clear evidence that China did not import any crude oil from Iran in June ‘for the first time since January 2007’. This is absolute nonsense. Not only is China continuing to import many millions of barrels of crude oil from Iran every single month but also it will continue to do so in line with the now firmly in-play 25-year deal between the two countries.   Specifically, from 1 June to 21 July (51 days), China imported at least 8.1 million barrels of crude oil – 158,823 barrels per day (bpd) – from Iran in a number of relatively direct ways, a senior oil and gas industry source who works closely with Iran’s Petroleum Ministry exclusively told The vast majority of these 8.1 million barrels were delivered by crude oil container ship, beginning with the cargo of the ‘Giessel’.