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Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and…

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Iran’s Oil Exports Hit Record High As Sanctions Loom

Iran’s crude oil exports reached a record 2.617 million bpd in April, according to its oil ministry’s news service Shana—the highest level since Iran signed the nuclear deal with global powers that now hangs in the balance as U.S. President Donald Trump threatens to pull out of the agreement.

Iran exported record-high volumes of crude oil and condensate of 2.877 million bpd to Asian and European markets, Shana reported. The largest traditional oil customers of Iran—China, India, South Korea, and Japan—purchased more than 60 percent of the Iranian oil export cargoes last month. China and India alone imported around 1.4 million bpd of Iranian oil in April, according to Shana.

Iran’s crude oil exports last month beat the previous record of 2.44 million bpd from October 2016.

Ship tracking data compiled by Bloomberg showed that Iran last month exported 2.83 million bpd of crude and condensate, up from 2.48 million bpd in March. Crude oil exports alone increased to 2.48 million bpd in April from 2.06 million bpd in March, Bloomberg data showed.

President Trump has until May 12 to decide whether to waive the sanctions on Iran. Many analysts expect that he will not waive the sanctions this time, although the impact on Iranian oil exports is difficult to quantify and it is difficult to predict when possible sanctions would kick in.

The possibility of renewed sanctions on Iran and a possible drop-off in Iranian oil exports have been supporting oil prices lately, with Brent breaking above $75 a barrel last week. Related: The Top Natural Gas Players In 2018

On Monday, Brent Crude breached $75 once again after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that Israel had proof that Iran had lied about its nuclear weapons program.

Uncertainty over the Iran sanctions waiver has already made some traders leery about signing crude oil and refined products contracts with Iran that go out past May 12, according to traders who have recently spoken to Bloomberg.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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