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China state refiners shun new Russian oil trades, teapots fly under radar -sources

SINGAPORE (Reuters) -China’s state refiners are honouring existing Russian oil contracts but avoiding new ones despite steep discounts, heeding Beijing’s call for caution as western sanctions mount against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, six people told Reuters. State-run Sinopec, Asia’s largest refiner, CNOOC, PetroChina and Sinochem have stayed on the sidelines in trading fresh Russian cargoes for May loadings, said the people, who all have knowledge of the matter but spoke on condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the subject. Chinese state-owned firms do not wish to be seen as openly supporting Moscow by buying extra volumes of oil, said two of the people, after Washington banned Russian oil last month and the European Union slapped sanctions on top Russian exporter Rosneft and Gazprom Neft.

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