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Oil Sanctioned by U.S. and Shunned by World Finds Haven in China

  • China’s Feb. imports of Venezuela oil most since December 2017
  • Nation’s Iranian oil purchases rose 22 percent from January
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Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

China is doubling down on purchases of cheap oil that other buyers are shunning due to U.S. sanctions.

The world’s biggest crude importer boosted imports from Venezuela and Iran last month from January, with the shipments costing the least since November 2017, data released on Monday by the General Administration of Customs show. Both of the OPEC producers are subject to separate U.S. sanctions that have squeezed their sales to customers across the globe.