The Iraqi government’s massive delegation to Beijing this week (see p2) reflects the fact not only that Chinese firms (overwhelmingly state ones) are key investors in Iraq, but also that China is a key market for Iraq’s 4mn b/d of crude exports.

China is by far the world’s number one crude importer. Of imports of 9.87mn b/d for the first eight months of 2019, some 948,000 b/d came from Iraq. This 10% market share leaves Iraq vying with Angola for China’s number three...