Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

Japan’s Halt Throws Iran Oil Sales To 2-Year Low

Japan’s Halt Throws Iran  Oil Sales To 2-Year Low

Japan will not lift any Iranian crude oil this month which will also see Iran’s exports fall to the lowest level in two years, unconfirmed reports say.
Iran will sell 1.9 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude and condensate in March, down by one-third of exports in the previous month, Reuters reported on Friday. Asia accounts for 60% of Iran’s crude and condensate exports. According to the report, shipments to main Asian customers are set to total 1.12 million bpd this month, down by one-third from February and the lowest since November 2015. An unnamed source, quoted by Reuters, suggested that uncertainty over sovereign insurance for tankers had prompted Japan to buy no Iranian crude in March. Japan is the fourth biggest buyer of Iranian oil in Asia, which lifted 218,757 bpd from the Middle Eastern country in December. There was no reaction to the report from Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum on Saturday. The decline comes after reports that Iran had offered 100% discount on its freights to India.
Iran’s Minister of Petroleum BijanZangeneh told reporters after a meeting with Indian Oil Minister DharmendraPradhan in New Delhi last month that India’s state-owned companies were going to increase their level of Iranian oil purchase. 
Zangeneh said both state-owned and private Indian refiners would buy about 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian oil in 2018. Indian imports of Iranian oil through January to April in 2017 averaged 442,800 bpd, which were about 17 percent less than those in the corresponding period a year before.
Iran has been working hard to retain its market share after Western sanctions over its nuclear program were lifted in January 2016 and establish its place as the third largest OPEC exporter. The country has raised its oil exports to 2.3 million barrels from around 1 million bpd before the lifting of the sanctions.
Last month, Deputy Petroleum Minister Amir Zamaninia said Iran aimed to raise its crude output capacity by 700,000 bpd to 4.7 million bpd within the next four years. (Press TV)