India's Oil Imports From Iran Down 57% In April

US sanctions have halved Iranian crude exports over the past year to below 1 million bpd

And if traders are intent on focusing on the potential negative outcomes of geopolitical tension, John Kilduff, founding partner at Again Capital, thinks they should focus on the escalating conflict between the US and Iran, which he described on Thursday as being "just off the charts right now in terms of being red-hot". Trump tweeted that he saw "no need to rush" to a deal in the dispute with China, hours after increasing tariffs.

The news comes despite statements from Beijing that it will not comply with the US sanctions against Iran and will continue trading with the country including buying crude oil from it.

They later resumed bookings after the US granted waivers to China and other seven global clients of Iranian oil, and purchased additional cargoes to make up the delayed shipments, according to the third source and trade flow data.

While trade war concerns have weighed on prices this week, "the spreads clearly point toward a tight market", ING bank said. The row over trade has cast a shadow over the global economy. "As you have an escalation of tension, you also have an element of uncertainty which leads to people taking off risks".

The U.S. will raise tariffs to 25% from 10% on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, effective Friday, according to the Trump Administration.

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U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $61.43 per barrel, down 69 cents and set for a third week of losses. Brent crude gained 36 cents to $70.26 a barrel. The global benchmark contract was trading at an $8.58 premium to WTI.

The Asian nation hopes it can resolve issues with the U.S. through cooperation and negotiation, the country's Commerce Ministry said in a statement after the tariff hike.

New Delhi announced last month that it would acquire additional supplies but analysts doubt it can fill the gap left by Iran. It remains uncertain to what extent Saudi Arabia will increase its production to fill the gap.

Efforts by OPEC to crimp supply to reduce global inventories have also supported prices. Brent's three-month oil time-spread is reflecting the shortages, with the widest backwardation in nearly five years.

Net U.S. crude imports fell 432,000 barrels per day to 4.4 million bpd, and crude production edged down 100,000 bpd from its record high to 12.2 million bpd.

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