China is expected to import as much as 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil from Iran in August, the highest since 2013, per estimates from data intelligence firm Kpler cited by Bloomberg. During the period January to July 2023, China received on average 917,000 bpd of oil from Iran, according to Kpler’s estimates. The world’s largest crude oil importer, China, has been ramping up purchases of cheaper Iranian crude this year as competition with India for cheap Russian crude supply has intensified. Earlier this year, many private Chinese refiners in the Shandong province started buying increasing volumes of Iranian crude as competition for Russian oil from China’s major state-held refiners and from Indian buyers has made Moscow’s barrels relatively more expensive. There isn’t official data on Iranian imports into China, so the market relies on tanker-tracking companies that aim to capture the true picture of how much of Iran’s oil, sanctioned by the U.S. and going to very few destinations these days, is being shipped to China.