The latest market figures show that Iran’s exports of crude oil have already reached the highest levels in more than four years.
Reuters in a report has quoted government and ship-tracking data as showing that Iran’s exports to its key Asian clients in June had increased by 47.1 percent from a year ago.
The four key Asian clients of Iran’s oil – South Korea, Japan, China and India – imported 1.72 million barrels per day (bpd) last month.
Reuters has quoted analysts as saying that the rise in Iran’s oil exports shows that the country is regaining the market share it lost as a result of the sanctions at a much faster pace than expected
Iran’s overall oil sales, the news agency added, have almost doubled since December before the sanctions were lifted on the country’s oil exports a month later.
By discounting prices for its crude against Saudi Arabia and Iraq, Iran has attracted new customers in countries such as Poland and spurred higher demand from existing buyers in Asia.
Iran has also gained new customers this year. Japanese oil refiner TonenGeneral Sekiyu has bought its first oil from Iran since becoming independent from US oil major Exxon Mobil Corp, Reuters further added quoting three industry sources familiar with the matter as saying.
Other reports show that Iran’s oil exports to Europe have also increased. Figures provided by ClipperData consulting company indicate a strong rise in Iran’s oil exports to European destination over the past few months. The figures show that Iran’s exports to the Netherlands, France, Turkey, Spain and Greece had increased by about 450,000 bpd in June.
Reuters in a report in early June said recent port loading data showed that at least 26 foreign tankers have either loaded or are about to load Iran’s oil at the country’s southern terminals. The tankers, it added, have the capacity to carry more than 25 million barrels of light and heavy crude oil, as well as fuel oil.
The report further quoted traders as saying that said Iran’s oil exports are now close to pre-sanction levels of around 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd).
Iran’s oil exports were between 2.1 and 2.3 million bpd in April and May, up from 1.3 million bpd a year ago, when Iran was shut out of the European market and dependent on limited shipments to Asian buyers, it added.
Asia is the main destination for crude shipped by foreign vessels, with India, China and Japan the biggest takers, but at least four international tankers are also heading for Europe, said Reuters.