China Did Not Cut Oil Imports: Iran

The National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) has said has denied that major buyer China had cut imports of crude from the country in 2012, after Chinese data showed they were a third lower in the first quarter than a year earlier.

The customs data this week showed China – until recently Iran’s top customer – halved its Iranian crude imports in March compared with the same month in 2011. “Iranian crude exports to Chinese refineries have not decreased at all in the current year,” said Mohsen Ghamsari, the head of international affairs at NIOC. “On average we are exporting about 500,000 barrels of crude to China per day,” he added.