Market data from Reuters shows that Iranian crude oil exports in April reached 2.3 million barrels per day, exceeding forecasts, while May exports are expected to be around 2.1 million barrels per day—or almost 60 percent higher than a year ago.
In May last year, by way of comparison, Iran was exporting about 1.3 million bpd, according to Reuters.
Logistics were holding up Iranian exports, with tankers being a key problem and indications now that this has been partially resolved.
A week ago, Iranian officials announced that sanctions on the country’s shipping lines have been completely removed, and that Iranian tankers are now free to dock at any port in the world. Related: Iraq Facing Perfect Storm
“Accordingly, all tankers that are under Iran’s ownership as well as any [foreign] tanker that enters Iran’s ports will not have any problem with regards to the issue of insurance,” Iranian media quoted an official as saying.
It’s a tough pill for rival Saudi Arabia to swallow, as the two fight for market share. Iran has regained almost half of its pre-sanctions European market, and exported 1.7 million bpd to Asia in April.
Last week, Iran introduced a discount on the June contract for its heavy crude going to Asia, just a few days after Saudi Arabia announced a price increase for its own June contract for the continent. With the discount, Iranian oil will be noticeably cheaper for Asian clients than both Saudi and Iraqi crude. Related: Who Will Benefit From The Electrification Of Transport?
Also on Thursday, U.S. and European Union authorities came out with an official statement reassuring private businesses that they are free to conduct legal business with Iran.
"This includes the reengagement of European banks and businesses in Iran," they said in the joint statement released after talks in Brussels.
By James Burgess of Oilprice.com
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