Published: Mon, August 06, 2018
Economy | By

China frustrates U.S. efforts to end Iran's oil exports

China frustrates U.S. efforts to end Iran's oil exports

USA officials are now travelling the world in a dramatic effort to stop other countries from buying Iranian oil. Beijing has, however, agreed not to ramp up purchases of Iranian crude, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified because discussions with China and other countries continue.

Francis Fannon, US assistant secretary of state for the bureau of energy resources, was recently in China to discuss sanctions, Bloomberg said, citing a US government official. "When we decide anything on Iran, we will inform you".

Washington also imposed a series of additional sanctions on Iranian entities and individuals, as well as foreign companies in Iran, squeezing Iran economically.

The oil market has been speculating about how much of Iran's exports could be eroded by the USA sanctions, with analysts from BMI Research to Mizuho Securities predicting that China might boost its imports of cheap supplies from the state and offset cuts by other nations.

WTI settled down 47 cents to $68.49 per barrel, and Brent fell 24 cents to $73.21 per barrel, causing Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch & Associates, to remark, "It's a jittery feel here, as long as we have Iranian sanctions uncertainty and tariff uncertainty, and it doesn't take much to spark a significant swing one way or the other".

Recall that President Hassan Rouhani of Iran had earlier warned the U.S. against any attempt to stop Tehran's oil trade. "It shows they have not thought about its consequences", Rouhani was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA while on an official visit to Austria's capital, Vienna, in July.

It has warned countries which ignore the policy will face United States sanction, even if they are American allies.

China - the world's top crude buyer and Iran's No. 1 customer - has said previously that it opposed unilateral sanctions and lifted monthly oil imports from the country by 26 percent in July.

"China will continue to cooperate with Iran adhering to its worldwide obligations".

What's next for Iran oil?

As reported, the figures for July imports of Iranian oil were about 85 percent higher than last year's shipments for the same period which were about 415,000 bpd.

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