“American sanctions that will target oil exports from Iran starting in November are another risk. Concern is growing that U.S. President Donald Trump’s measures will curb the OPEC producer’s shipments at a time when production from another group member, Venezuela, is also dwindling in the midst of an economic meltdown. Both the producers are suppliers to China.
“With oil from Iran and Venezuela at risk, U.S. crude is offering Chinese refiners a good and abundant alternative,” said Sophie Shi, a Beijing-based analyst with consultant IHS Markit Ltd. “Imagine if this ideal resource was cut off. That would leave China solely dependent on Saudi Arabia, which seems too risky.””