It is being reported that China's state refiners are honouring existing Russian oil contracts but are staying away from new ones despite steep discounts being offered.

Asia's largest refiner, Sinopec, along with CNOOC, PetroChina and Sinochem are said to be staying on the sidelines in trading fresh cargoes from Russia for loadings in May. The sources say that none of the Chinese state refiners want to be "singled out as a buyer of Russian oil".

For some context, China is the top buyer of Russian crude at around 1.6 million barrels per day, half of which is supplied via pipelines under contracts between both governments.

Well, the way I'm seeing it is that a lot of this looks to be reputational risks and just avoiding any unwanted scrutiny as the spotlight continues to shine brightly on Russia. But given time, I'd expect normal dealings to continue. I'm pretty sure it's not an economic risk that China is willing to take by having to look to diversify its crude imports at a time like this.