India’s Jan-Sept Iran Oil Imports Up 38%

India’s Jan-Sept Iran Oil Imports Up 38% India’s Jan-Sept Iran Oil Imports Up 38%

India's oil imports from Iran rose 38 percent in the first nine months of the year as shipments surged with an easing of Western sanctions over Tehran's suspected nuclear activities, tanker arrival data obtained from trade sources shows, Reuters reported.

India, Iran's top oil client after China, imported about 267,800 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from Tehran, the tanker data showed, partly due to a big surge in the first quarter as the initial deal easing Western sanctions went into effect.

Growth in Iranian oil imports this year was also due to a bounce off the low base of last year, when shipments were hit hard due to insurance problems triggered by the sanctions, particularly over the April-August period.

India's monthly Iranian oil imports fell in September for the first time since June, with the intake dropping to 241,400 bpd, down 11.7 percent from the previous month and 18.5 percent from a year ago, the data showed.

Over the April-September period, the first half of India's fiscal year, the nation took about 223,400 bpd from Tehran, up 35 percent over the same six months last year.

State-run Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemical Ltd was the biggest buyer of Iranian oil in September followed by Essar Oil Ltd, the data showed. MRPL and Essar are India's only two regular monthly importers of Iranian crude.

State run Indian Oil Corp, the country's biggest refiner, imported a million barrels of Iranian oil during the month, the data also showed. India's overall imports for the month totaled 3.76 million bpd, a decline of about 2 percent from a year ago as private refiner HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd did not make any purchase due to a shutdown of its refinery for maintenance. HPCL-Mittal Energy has resumed purchases this month after restarting operations at its 180,000 bpd Bathinda refinery. Iran's share of total Indian oil imports was about 7 percent in the first nine months of this year compared with 4.9 percent last year, the data showed.