September 22, 2013 / 6:40 AM / 4 years ago

China Aug crude imports from Iran up 17.5 pct y/y - customs

BEIJING, Sept 22 (Reuters) - China's crude oil imports from Iran reached 436,296 barrels per day in August, up 17.54 percent from the same month last year, suggesting that importers are struggling to comply with U.S. sanctions aimed at curbing Tehran's disputed nuclear programme.

The figure was also 9.8 percent higher than July, data from the customs authority showed on Sunday.

China's imports of Iranian oil stood at 14.06 million tonnes over the first eight months of the year, according to official customs data, equivalent to 422,308 bpd and down 1.17 percent compared to the same period of 2012. China and other Asian importers of Iranian crude have to keep reducing the shipments to win waivers to U.S. sanctions.

Chinese officials told Reuters late last year that domestic refiners may cut their Iran shipments 5-10 percent this year from the 438,450 bpd average for 2012.

That would mean China's average daily Iran oil imports for 2013 have to fall to a 394,600-416,400 bpd range. (Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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