Chinese oil trading company Unipec is reported to have suspended imports of US crude as the trade war between Washington and Beijing intensifies. AP photo.
Unipec on track to buy $700 million in US crude in 2018
As the trade war between Washington and Beijing ramps up, Unipec, the trading arm of China’s state-owned oil company Sinopec, has suspended imports of US crude, according to a report by Reuters.
One source told the news agency that while it is unclear how long the suspension will last, Unipec does not have any new bookings of US crude until at least October.
Sinopec is the largest oil refiner in Asia and the biggest buyer of US crude in the region.
In response to an expected import tariff on US crude imports, Chinese oil buyers have curtailed their purchases of US oil.
In retaliation for US tariffs on Chinese goods, Beijing has included US oil on a list of goods that could be hit by 25 per cent tariffs. However, China has not said when the tariffs on US crude would be implemented.
Earlier this year, Unipec said it expected to purchase up to 300,000 barrels per day (b/d) of US crude by the end of 2018. This is valued at US$700 million.