India's Iran Oil Imports Rise to Five-Year High

India's Iran Oil Imports Rise to Five-Year High India's Iran Oil Imports Rise to Five-Year High

India's July oil imports from Iran rose to their highest in at least five years, climbing to over 500,000 barrels per day for the second time in five months, revised tanker arrival data obtained from trade sources show.

India, Iran's top oil client after China, shipped in about 523,000 bpd oil in July, an increase of 37% from June and more than double from a year ago, Reuters reported.

Iran used to be India's second-biggest oil supplier after Saudi Arabia until 2011, when New Delhi had to cut purchases from Tehran because of international sanctions imposed over the dispute on its nuclear program.

India's oil imports from Iran have been consistently rising since the lifting of sanctions earlier this year.

In the first four months of this fiscal year, India's imports from Iran have climbed 48% more than a year ago to about 420,000 bpd, the data showed.

Last month, two state refiners Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum lifted oil from Tehran after a gap of years.

In July, Saudi Arabia continued to be the top oil supplier to India followed by Iraq, the data shows. Venezuela remained the third-biggest oil supplier.

Data show Iran is steadily strengthening its foothold in Asia's crude markets. According to South Korea's customs data, the country brought in 1.10 million tons of Iranian crude oil last month, or 260,910 barrels per day, 285% above the 286,374 tons imported a year earlier when sanctions were imposed on Tehran.

Iranian oil sales may stay strong as the third-largest OPEC producer has reportedly 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.