China’s Unipec, the trading arm of state oil major Sinopec, has suspended crude oil imports from the United States due to a growing trade spat between Washington and Beijing, three sources familiar with the situation said on Friday.
The sources declined to be identified as they are not authorized to speak to the media.
It is not clear how long the temporary halt will last, but one of the sources said Unipec has no new bookings of U.S. crude until at least October.
Unipec and Sinopec, Asia’s largest refiner and biggest buyer of U.S. oil, did not respond to requests for comment.
Chinese buyers had already slowed their purchases of U.S. oil to avoid a likely import tariff threatened by Beijing amid the escalating trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.
Beijing has put U.S. energy products, including crude oil and refined products, on a list of goods it will hit with a 25 percent import tax in retaliation for similar moves by Washington. It has not said when it will impose the tariffs.