By Meng Meng and Florence Tan
BEIJING/SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Chinese oil trader Unipec plans to resume U.S. crude shipments to China by March after the Xi-Trump deal at the G20 meeting reduced the risk of tariffs being imposed on these imports, three sources with knowledge of the matter said.
The sources told Reuters that Unipec – trading arm of state refiner Sinopec (SS:600028) – is looking to import U.S. oil by March 1, which marks the end of a 90-day negotiating period agreed by the leaders of the world’s two biggest economies.
China’s crude oil imports from the United States ground to a halt in October as this year’s trade war between the two countries escalated.
“Chinese buyers who want to buy U.S. crude will rush to import the oil during this window,” a senior executive from Asia’s largest refiner Sinopec said, adding that the oil has to arrive in China before March 1.
“Oil prices are low, so it makes economic sense to store some crude as commercial inventories,” said the executive, who asked not to be named.
Sinopec said it has a policy not to comment on specific trade deals. Unipec did not respond to an email.