China's July Iran Oil Imports Up 3%

China's July Iran Oil Imports Up 3%China's July Iran Oil Imports Up 3%

China's crude oil imports from Iran rose in July from a year earlier, official customs data showed on Friday, as crude imports in the world's largest energy consumer hit their second highest level on record.

China, Iran's biggest oil client, imported 2.44 million tons of Iranian oil last month, or 575,700 barrels per day, up 3% from a year ago, but down 14.3% from June's 671,800 bpd.

Thomson Reuters Oil Research & Forecasts had put its latest estimate of China's July imports from Iran at 2.65 million tons, or 624,000 bpd. The group expects volume from Iran to come in at 586,400 bpd in August.

For the first seven months of the year, China brought in 17.1 million tons of Iranian crude oil, or 587,400 bpd, down 4.9% from the year-earlier period, the customs data showed, but still above the 2014 average of roughly 555,000 bpd.

China lifted a total of 7.23 million bpd in July, its second highest month on record. Iran, once OPEC's second biggest producer after Saudi Arabia, hopes to boost crude exports by as much as 1 million bpd once sanctions are lifted.