Chinese oil buyers will continue to purchase the product from the United States until September, but plan to reduce their future purchases to avoid a probable import tariff amid a trade dispute between the world's two largest economies, They said several sources of the industry.
Beijing has put us energy products, including oil and refined products, into product lists that will be hit with import taxes in retaliation for similar measures from Washington.
Beijing did not specify when it will impose the tax of 25% on oil, and this gives the buyers time to adjust the purchases while awaiting the outcome of the trade negotiations, the sources said.
The Unipec, the commercial arm of Sinopec-Asia's largest refiner and largest U.S. oil buyer-has been offering US oil, such as West Texas Intermediate (WTI), to other Asian buyers for July, said three sources with knowledge of the offers .
"They (UNIPEC) only offer oil to arrive in September, which means loads with loading in July," said one of the sources, though adding that the offer is "too expensive".
Representatives of UNIPEC said this was a normal business activity, since their trading unit often resells the excess oil of their refining system, depending on the economy and state of their supplies.
A trading executive from Sinopec told Reuters that the state refiner will maintain its usual import volumes on July charges, but cannot commit to later schedules.
"Future purchases… will depend on developments," said the executive, who spoke under the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the subject. Source: Extra Newspaper
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