\"Iranian crude exports to Chinese refineries have not decreased at all in the current year,\" Head of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)\'s International Affairs Department Mohsen Ghamsari told MNA after some media quoted the Chinese customs data as saying this week that China has cut its Iranian crude imports in March compared with the same month in 2011. \"On average we are exporting about 500,000 barrels of crude to China per day,\" he added. In the last days of 2011, Washington imposed new sanctions on Iran to penalize countries for importing Iranian oil or doing trade with its central bank. The US extraterritorial laws and pressures forced the EU member states to ratify in their meeting on January 23 and after months of debates to sanction oil imports from Iran and freeze the assets of Iran\'s Central Bank within the EU. The EU has said that its oil embargos against Iran will come into force in July. Iran traditionally sells most of its oil exports to Asia, where China, India, Japan and South Korea have been the biggest buyers. Iran has played a tit-for-tat game over crude shipments since the European Union\'s oil embargo announcement. EU states have since scrambled to find alternative supplies before that deadline, with Iran threatening to cut exports before then. Meantime, demand is growing for Iranian crude oil in Asian and African markets after the EU\'s fresh decision. The threat of a cut in Iranian supplies drove oil prices in March to $128 a barrel, their highest level since 2008.