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The latest trade balance report from the Chinese General Administration of Customs showed on Wednesday that China imported record high oil, in an unexpected move, Reuters reports.

The China Customs noted that the surge in the Chinese oil imports is because the state-run refiners built up stocks of Iranian crude oil anticipating a sanctions clampdown.

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Imports last month were 43.73 million tonnes, equal to 10.64 million barrels per day (bpd).

That compared with 9.26 million bpd in March and was up 11 percent from the April 2018 level, according to Reuters calculations.

China, the world’s biggest oil importer, took in 164.9 million tonnes of crude during the first four months of 2019, or about 10.03 million bpd, up 8.9 percent on the same period a year earlier.

China’s Iran crude oil imports rose to 24 million barrels or about 800,000 bpd in April, the highest since August, as buyers rushed in shipments before the U.S. sanctions waiver deadline of early May, Refinitiv data showed.”