The official website of the China Shipping Services (CNSS), an organization under China’s Ministry of Transportation, recently published an article that stated China’s two largest state-owned oil refiners – China Petrochemical Corporation (SINOPEC) and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) – halted ordering the November Iranian oil. Anonymous sources said the two refiners were concerned about the U.S. sanctions and were uncertain about whether China can get an exemption or not. One of the top officials from these two companies suggested that the risk is “higher than the reduction of the supply level.” Neither of the two companies was willing to confirm the news nor was the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). Kunlun Bank, which CNPC controls, has informed its customers that it is no longer accepting RMB payments from Iran. In August, Kunlun Bank had already quietly stopped accepting Iranian Euro payments. Nearly all oil transactions between China and Iran went through Kunlun Bank. However, China Shipping Services’ tracking system shows that six out of the nine Iranian November oil tanker ships still have planned destinations in China. India’s import level from Iran also remains unchanged.
Source: CNSS, October 26, 2018