Sources: China's UNIP suspends imports of US oil amid a trade dispute
China's Unibek, the oil trading arm of state-owned oil giant Sinopec, has suspended crude oil imports from the United States due to an escalating trade dispute between Washington and Beijing, three sources said on Friday.
The sources requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media.
It is not clear how long the temporary suspension will last, but one source said that UNIPEC does not have any new reservations for US crude until at least October.
Unipec and Sinopec, the largest oil refining company and the largest US oil buyer in Asia, have not responded to requests for comment.
Chinese oil buyers have already slowed their purchases of US crude to avoid customs duties that Beijing threatens to impose on imports as a trade dispute between the world's two largest economies escalates.
Beijing has put US energy products, including crude oil and refined products, on lists of goods that would impose a 25 percent import tax in response to similar moves from Washington. Beijing did not say when the fees would be imposed.
Earlier this year, Unipec said it expected to trade up to 300,000 bpd by the end of the year, nearly three times the volume of its US crude trade last year.