As the U.S. Administration requests its allies to stop purchasing Iranian crude, China may inadvertently be helping out Iran as it has halted the publication of its detailed customs data.
The reason for the abrupt end to this monthly data release is still not entirely clear. Whether it relates to a system change, or the result of a spat between Chinese authorities and customs over the trade data being sold to third parties, all we know is that Chinese trade data has not been released for April or May. And via our sources, we believe it may be errant for at least another month.
The absence of this information make tanker-tracking and hard data all the more valuable. We can see from our ClipperData that Iranian flows to China – of which 92 percent is based on Port Agent information – that deliveries are at