China’s imports of Iranian crude tumbled to the lowest level in 11 months, according to data from intelligence firm Kpler, following a standoff over the price of oil from the OPEC producer.

The Asian nation took around 986,000 barrels a day in January, the lowest volume since February 2023 and the first time in 10 months daily shipments were below 1 million barrels, figures from Kpler show.

China’s independent refiners are the major buyers of Iranian crude and some suppliers held back shipments in December and January after the processors baulked at higher prices. The refiners, known as teapots, have instead turned to Russian supply, recently snapping up cargoes of ESPO for February arrival.

Imports of Russian oil dipped slightly last month, but were still above 1.2 million barrels a day, according to Kpler. Iranian oil in floating storage off Singapore and Malaysia — which typically ends up in China — rose to 15 million barrels as of Tuesday, the most since Dec. 24, the data show.

Teapots have been grappling with lower margins due to weaker domestic demand and higher oil prices. Imports of crude, bitumen mix and fuel oil into Shandong and Tianjin ports last month to the lowest level since June 2022, according to Mysteel OilChem.

Overall, China’s crude imports were marginally lower last month but remained above 10 million barrels a day, according to Kpler. Daily shipments from Brazil — which have been purchased more frequently recently by state-run refiners — rose sharply to more than 1 million barrels, the highest since September 2020, the data showed.