China Stacks Iranian Oil Before U.S. Waiver Ended

Pumpjacks are seen in Lagunillas

The United States reimposed sanctions on Iran in November after pulling out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Tehran and six world powers previous year, though it allowed Tehran's biggest buyers to continue purchasing oil via waivers for another six months. It is the highest amount of purchase of Iran's top oil customer since August 2018.

A third source said Sinopec, who buys the majority of China's Iranian oil imports, does not wish to breach a long-term supply contract but has opted to suspend booking new cargoes for now due to the sanction worries.

"Based on such requests, Saudi oil production for the month of June is expected to remain below its OPEC+ commitment, while exports will also stay under 7 million barrels per day".

Supplies have also been tightened by USA sanctions on OPEC members Venezuela and Iran. It increased by 36 percent from February.

U.S. -China trade talks ended without resolution May 9, and negotiations are set to resume in Washington on May 10.

More news: White House Welcomes the Boston 'Red Socks'

And if traders are intent on focusing on the potential negative outcomes of geopolitical tension, John Kilduff, founding partner at Again Capital, thinks they should focus on the escalating conflict between the USA and Iran, which he described on Thursday as being "just off the charts right now in terms of being red-hot".

Last month, Washington said it will end Iran sanction waivers that have been granted to China, India, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey and South Korea to ensure low oil prices and avoid disruption to the global oil market.

After four months of decline, tightening the oil market considerably, OPEC's collective crude oil production in April held relatively steady from March, rising just 30,000 b/d to 30.26mbd, an S&P Global Platts survey has shown. Analysts said that the surge in Iranian imports resulted in China setting a new monthly oil import record, despite the fact that there was refinery maintenance and fuel demand was lukewarm.

That amount is above the quota that the US assigned to China as part of the waiver. The latest forecast puts the United States on track to reach the 13-million-bpd milestone in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had said "a robust plan for an adequate supply of crude oil to Indian refineries" is in place. He also said that there will be additional supplies from other major oil-producing countries.

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