Iran Oil Exports Dip

Iran Oil Exports Dip Sharply Iran Oil Exports Dip Sharply

Oil exports from Iran have fallen steeply in the first half of August, according to preliminary tanker tracking data, as the threat of US sanctions is already beginning to curb demand from some of the OPEC member’s key customers.

Initial estimates gathered from Platts trade flow software cFlow suggest that Iran oil crude and condensate exports have plummeted to 1.68 million barrels per day in the first 16 days of August, down over 600,000 bpd from loadings in July.

This compares with exports averaging 2.32 million bpd in July as a whole and 2.10 million bpd in the first 16 days, S&P Global Platts estimates show.

Sources said these preliminary numbers show key buyers of Iranian oil are starting to cut back ahead of looming US sanctions against Iran’s oil sector.

Preliminary tracking data show demand from India for Iranian crude has dived. cFlow data show close to 204,000 bpd of crude flowed to India over August 1-16, compared to the 706,000 bpd in July.

There have been questions around India—the second largest buyer of Iranian crude—which is under pressure from the US government to cut its reliance on Iran’s oil.

Buying interest from China, Iran’s largest oil customer, was only slightly reduced. Loadings to China from August 1-16 were 615,688 bpd compared to 722,100 bpd in July.

Demand from Japan remained steady while for the second month in a row, South Korea halted its imports of Iran’s condensates, of which it used to be a key buyer.

Flows to Europe in the first half of August were, however, up strongly, with flows at 631,814 bpd, compared to 465,450 bpd in July. Italian demand stayed strong and other buyers in this regions consisted of Turkey, Greece, France, Spain and Croatia.

But sources have said that despite a fall in exports, Iranian crude production is expected to not have fallen sharply, as Tehran has diverted some of these barrels to its domestic refining system.

Oil prices rose on Friday, supported by signs that US sanctions on Iran are already reducing global crude supply.

Benchmark Brent crude oil was up 60 cents a barrel at $75. Brent was on track for gains of almost 5% this week. US light crude was 50 cents higher to reach $68.33, heading for a 3.8% gain this week, CNBC reported.

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