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Chinese imports of Iranian oil jumped 53 percent in June over the previous month, according to the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China.
Chinaâs oil imports from Iran increased by around 50 percent in the first half of 2011 compared to the same period the year before.
China imported 650,000 barrels of Iranian oil per day in June, the Mehr News Agency reported.
For the period January-June 2011, Iran became Chinaâs third largest oil supplier, exceeded only by Saudi Arabia and Angola. For the six-month period, Saudi Arabia exported more than 24.1 million tons of oil to China, while Angola supplied China with 15.5 million tons of crude.
Iran is also increasing its exports to China of other petroleum products. Iran is now the second leading exporter of naphtha to China. For the period January-June 2011 China imported 280,104 tons of Iranian naphtha, a 280 percent increase in comparison to the same period in 2010. Iran's liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) exports to China in the first half of 2011 reached 352,130 tons, a 72 percent increase compared to the same period for the previous year.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent a message to Chinese President Hu Jintao on Sunday commemorating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Tehran and Beijing, writing, "I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to you and the country's government on the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Iran and the People's Republic of China. I'm sure that the strong and growing relations between Iran and the great country of China, which are based on understanding and are meant to serve mutual interests, will be further strengthened through the determination of the leaders of the two countries."
By. Joao Peixe, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com