Asia’s March Iran oil imports surge 50%
The latest official figures show that Asian imports of Iranian oil in March jumped 50 percent from a year earlier as shipments into India and South Korea climbed after the removal of sanctions against Iran.
Imports by Iran’s top four buyers – China, India, Japan and South Korea – came to 1.56 million bpd in March, up 49.9 percent from a year ago, Reuters reported citing government and tanker-tracking data.
India’s imports last month totaled 506,100 bpd, the highest in five years, the data showed. The nation’s imports from Iran are set to surge to a seven-year high during the fiscal year of
2016/17, Reuters quoted industry sources as saying.
South Korea’s imports in March fell slightly from a two-year high in February to 264,452 bpd but were still 94.5 percent higher than a year ago. Imports by China and Japan fell from a year ago.
The strong exports point to Iran’s success in regaining market share in Asia after the sanctions were eased in January, Reuters emphasized in its report.
Before 2012, Iran exported around 2 million bpd, with more than half going to Asia, mainly China, South Korea, India and Japan. Tehran has been banned from selling oil to the United States for decades.
Iran’s oil flows to Europe have also begun to pick up after a slow start though the country has struggled to increase oil exports because many of its tankers are tied up storing crude, some are not seaworthy, and foreign ship owners remain reluctant to carry its cargoes, Reuters added in its report.