01-07-2016

Iran’s July oil exports to fall but 70 pct higher than year ago -source

Iran

Iran’s oil exports in July are set to fall from June levels as the country battles Saudi Arabia and Iraq for market share but are about 70 percent higher than a year ago, according to a source with knowledge of the country’s crude lifting plans.

Exports will be about 2.14 million barrels per day (bpd) in July, down from about 2.31 million bpd in June, the highest since January 2012, the source said. The decline is mostly attributable to a fall in condensate exports as South Korea cuts purchases of the ultra-light oil and reduced crude liftings from European customers.

Iran’s oil exports have nearly doubled since December, the last month before sanctions targeting its disputed nuclear programme were lifted, but it is facing ever tougher competition from its rival Saudi Arabia and neighbour Iraq.

This year, “we are really seeing the triumvirate turning the screws, especially with the return of Iranian barrels after the lifting of sanctions,” Matt Smith, a director of Commodity Research at ClipperData, said on his daily blog.

“Exports for the three nations are averaging more than 2.3 million barrels per day higher through May year-to-date compared to the same period last year,” he said.

Iran has been regaining market share at a faster pace than analysts had projected since sanctions were lifted in January and exports will be above 2 million bpd for a fourth month in July.

Exports to Europe in July are set to fall to about 430,000 bpd from about 580,000 bpd this month, the source said.

Iran’s loadings to Asia in July are about the same as this month at 1.63 million bpd, according to the source. Loadings peaked this year in April at 1.71 million bpd.

Loadings for China, Iran’s biggest customer, will be slightly over 654,000 bpd in July, up nearly 50,000 bpd from June. India will pick up about 480,000 bpd, the highest since March. South Korean loadings will be about half of those this month at 190,000 bpd. Japan is set to load about 235,000 bpd.

Greece, Italy, Spain and Turkey are all loading Iranian oil, according to the source. Poland is absent this month, after making its the first purchase since last August in June.

Source: Reuters 

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