Crude oil exports from Iran to Asian countries—its biggest clients—sank to an average daily of 762,000 bpd, official customs data and shipping data reported by Reuters revealed. This is the lowest monthly average for Iranian crude oil exports to Asia in five years and a 56.4-percent decline on an annual basis.
South Korea imported no Iranian crude last month, the second month of no imports in a row as one of the world’s top crude oil importers sought to secure a waiver from U.S. sanctions, which it successfully did.
Japan continued buying some Iranian crude but at a much lower rate than usual. The average daily shipments to Japan stood at 48,033 bpd, the lowest in six months, according to Japanese trade ministry data. The country also stopped importing Iranian crude last month and has yet to resume orders after it, too, was granted a waiver from the U.S. sanctions.
China imported an average of 247,160 bpd of Iranian crude last month, down 64 percent on the year, but will now most likely ramp up shipments after it scored a sanction waiver and found a way, together with Tehran, to process payments for oil even after the waivers expire next year.
India, interestingly, continued importing Iranian crude at a rate almost unchanged from September, Reuters notes. Shipments of the commodity to this destination averaged 466,400 bpd, down by just 0.2 percent from September. Yet this was lower than the average India imported from Iran over the first ten months of the year, which came in at 579,600 bpd.
China has been the biggest buyer of Iranian crude so far this year, importing it at a rate of 613,200 barrels daily over January to October. This, however, is lower than the rate of imports a year earlier, which stood at 634,749 bpd.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.