OREANDA-NEWS.  June 27, 2012. China's Unipec, trading arm of top Asian refiner Sinopec Corp, has requested Iran to deliver July-loading crude cargoes to Chinese ports, ahead of a European insurance ban on Iranian oil exports that takes effect from July 1.

"There is a company mandate requesting the July Iranian supplies to be on a delivered basis," said one oil official.

Sources told Reuters that Sinopec, the world's largest Iranian oil buyer, is expected to lift "a normal volume of oil based on the long-term contract" for July. One source estimated it at 500,000 barrels per day, a level similar to the average amount Sinopec bought from Iran last year.

Sinopec buys Iranian oil via two separate contracts, one through its trading arm Unipec, and the other via state oil trader Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp.

It was not immediately clear if Zhuhai Zhenrong also requested supplies on a delivered basis.