Malaysia's state oil firm Petronas

has stopped supplying gasoline to Iran, a spokesman told Reuters on Thursday.

We have stopped supplying gasoline to Iran since the middle of March, the spokesman told Reuters via a mobile text message.

The news comes after industry sources told Reuters a Chinese state oil company had sold two cargoes of gasoline to Iran, underscoring Beijing's desire to maintain economic ties despite the U.N. pressing for economic sanctions.

Petronas last shipped a gasoline cargo into the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas between March 4 and 5, industry sources said.

The 255,000 barrel cargo was loaded from the United Arab Emirates port of Jebel Ali, a key transshipment and oil storage hub for fuel supply in the region.

The Malaysian company has been shipping about 16,000 barrels per day (bpd) of the motor fuel to Tehran since the fourth quarter of 2009, traders said.

Petronas has been supporting sales to Iran via its fuel storage tanks at the port of Fujairah in the UAE.

(Reporting by Niluksi Koswanage and Luke Pachymuthu; Editing by Michael Urquhart)