Asia’s June Iran oil imports jump 47.1 pct y/y to more than 4-year high


Imports of Iranian oil by four major buyers in Asia in June jumped 47.1 percent from a year ago to the highest level in more than four years, evidence Tehran’s aggressive moves to recoup market share, lost under international sanctions, is paying off.

Iran is regaining market share at a faster pace than analysts had projected since sanctions were lifted in January, helped by securing more tankers through a temporary shipping insurance fix.

Robust Iranian oil sales may continue as OPEC producers cut prices for August crude sales to Asia, the Mediterranean and from the port of Sidi Kerir in Egypt, in a continuing effort to regain market share in these regions post-sanctions.

Tehran’s oil sales hit 4-1/2 year high in June, nearly doubling since December as sanctions were lifted on its oil exports in January. 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.

The four countries, South Korea, Japan, China and India, imported 1.72 million barrels per day (bpd) in June, government and ship-tracking data showed.

Japan’s trade ministry on Friday released official data showing its imports almost tripled from a year earlier to 275,000 bpd last month.

Iran has also gained new customers this year. Japanese oil refiner TonenGeneral Sekiyu has bought its first oil from Iran since becoming independent from U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil Corp, three industry sources familiar with the matter said.

The following tables show Asia’s Iran crude imports in bpd for last month and the year to date.

 Nation      Jun-16       Jun-15  yr/yr pct
  China    780,175      671,800        16.1
  India    381,500      283,900        34.4
  Japan    275,233       93,046       195.8
  Korea    280,600      119,100       135.6
  Total  1,717,508    1,167,846        47.1
  Nation  Jan-June 2016  Jan-June 2015  yr/yr pct
   China       600,608        589,400         1.9
   India       341,900        216,500        57.9
   Japan       205,871        172,803        19.1
   Korea       264,852        119,365       121.9
   Total     1,413,231      1,098,068        28.7

Source: Reuters

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