The ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute stopped a surge in American oil exports to the Middle Kingdom, but as Washington and Beijing inch toward a deal, a trickle of U.S. crude appears to be making its way to Chinese shores.
The development comes as U.S. and Chinese negotiators recently wrapped up talks that prevented tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in goods from rising sharply on March 1. The dispute has disrupted once robust trade in energy products such as crude oil and liquefied natural gas between the world's two biggest economies.
China emerged as a major buyer of U.S. crude after President Barack Obama and Congress lifted the 40-year ban on exporting crude oil in 2015. During some months last year, China surpassed Canada as the top importer of American oil.