China, a major Iran oil importer, could resist any US sanctions

In a matter of hours, President Donald Trump will be set to announce his decision on the Iran nuclear deal. Many are expecting him to pull the United States out of the deal in addition to restore sanctions against the nation.

Among the deal’s signatories, China will be likely to resist any unilateral American action, experts said.

Any sanctions on Iran could have a “negligible effect on China’s buying attitude,” said John Driscoll, director of JTD Energy Services in Singapore in addition to a former oil trader whose career spans nearly 40 years.

China, alongside India, are the top two buyers of Iranian crude oil.

One of the planet’s fastest growing markets for oil consumption, China “needs the oil,” in addition to trade tensions with the U.S. could make Beijing even less likely to support sanctions by Washington, said Victor Shum, vice president of the energy group at IHS Markit.

“With trade skirmishes between the U.S. in addition to China in addition to all kinds of political issues, I see the resistance by Chinese crude buyers to comply [to U.S. sanctions against Iran],” added Shum.

Even so, China will try to keep its response measured as the planet’s second-largest economy continues its bilateral trade negotiations with the U.S., said Benjamin Lu, an investment analyst for commodities at Phillip Futures.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry signaled last Wednesday which This particular wasn’t in support of the U.S. quitting the deal, nevertheless stopped short of criticizing any specific country.

Should the U.S. withdraw by the Iran nuclear deal, the Trump administration must decide on whether to wield powerful U.S. sanctions to punish countries which continue to do business with Iran.

Still, the market will find ways to circumvent any sanctions, such as transferring supplies between floating storage, using barter trade, or not using U.S. banks, according to analysts.

“The market will be resourceful,” said Driscoll.

For instance, Iranian traders possess the option of trading in Chinese yuan-denominated crude oil futures on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange — circumventing any restrictions on dollar-denominated trade in addition to U.S. banks.

Shum in addition to Lu, however, said such a development may not be which immediate or apparent, as Shanghai oil futures trade will be still a largely domestic affair. Beijing also could not want to be seen to be openly pushing back on U.S. sanctions as This particular negotiates bilateral trade with Washington, said Lu.

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