Sunday, June 1, 2014

More Iranian oil may be heading to China and Turkey

Zaman Today - May 30, 2014

Iran's crude oil exports increased in May after a decline in April, according to sources who track tanker movements, moving above the level allowed by November's interim deal on curbing Tehran's nuclear program.  The increase, which appears to be led by higher sales to China in particular, could revive concerns in Washington that a softening of sanctions has given Tehran's economy a bigger boost than planned. Iran's exports have averaged 1.38 million barrels per day (bpd) in May, one of the sources said. That represents an increase from 1.1 million bpd in April, as estimated by the Paris-based International Energy Agency. "Overall exports have increased in May," the source said. "We have seen more vessels paying visits to Turkey. China has increased imports this month." A second source, who also tracks Iranian exports, also noted that loading data pointed to a rise in Iranian shipments in May, including robust shipments to China. "Exports are up, and China does not seem to be listening to the sanctions," the source said. China's crude imports from Iran more than doubled in April against the same month last year to a record of nearly 800,000 bpd, Chinese customs data showed last week. 
Bolstered coffers 
Under an interim deal signed in November between Iran and six world powers, which came into effect in January, Iran's exports should average 1 million bpd through to July 20.