Iran Moves to Regain Market Share

Iran Moves to Regain Market ShareIran Moves to Regain Market Share

Iran has reduced the quarterly price for its flagship crude to the lowest in three years to lure Asian buyers to lock in more term supplies next year.

The price reduction is just one of the steps taken by the OPEC producer to ramp up output and regain market share lost since US and European sanctions aimed at its nuclear program cut its crude oil exports by more than half, Market Pulse reported.

Asian buyers have called for lower prices amid a supply glut that has made it tougher for Iran to elbow its way to higher sales volumes, despite optimism over the deal that would ease the sanctions in exchange for limiting Tehran's nuclear program.

Iran's oil sales in September are set to hit a six-month low, according to tanker loading data recently provided to Reuters.

An executive at a North Asian oil refiner said it is in talks with the National Iranian Oil Company for next year's term supply, but that Iran's crude prices have been uncompetitive.

Iran set its official selling price, or OSP, for Iranian Light crude for October at a 25-cent a barrel premium to Oman and UAE, down 35 cents from the month before, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.

This puts Iranian Light OSP at a 15-cent premium to Saudi's Arab Light in the fourth quarter, the lowest quarterly price since the last three months of 2012, according to Reuters data.

Iran sets its OSPs every quarter at differentials to Saudi prices, following discussions with key customers.

In the fight for market share, Iran and fellow members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, including Kuwait and Iraq, have sweetened the terms of their crude deals, including extended credit and free oil deliveries, to boost sales.