India's 2018/19 Iran oil imports up 5 pct y/y despite US Sanctions

Marco Green
April 15, 2019

Since the first round of waivers expires on May 4, Iranian oil buyers including India, Japan, and South Korea are trying to convince the USA government to get another round of exemption from US sanctions to be able to keep buying crude from Iran.

USA sanctions on oil from Venezuela and Iran have played into Russia's hands on energy policy, according to a new analysis that found that refiners have turned to Russian exports to fill the gaps, The Hill writes in an article "Europe turning to Russia for oil amid United States sanctions on Venezuela, Iran: report".

This figure is a jump from the 458,000 bpd reaching India from Iran a year earlier, preliminary tanker arrival data revealed.

In the first 11 months of this fiscal year that began in April, India's oil imports from Iran rose by 5.6 percent to 486,400 bpd as refiners boosted purchases ahead of the USA sanctions drawn by discounts offered by Tehran, the data showed.

India's overall imports from Iran in 2018/19 were lower than the 500,000 bpd that Iran was hoping to sell to its second-biggest oil client after China.

A lack of ships delayed lifting of some cargoes to end-February, leading to higher arrivals in March, sources said.

India-alongside seven other Iranian oil customers including the biggest buyer China-received a USA waiver to continue buying Iranian oil, at a rate of around 300,000 bpd.

India is not booking Iranian oil due to load in May, as refiners are waiting for more clarity from the US on whether India will get its sanctions waiver extended, Reuters reported earlier this week, citing four sources. Indian refiners raised purchases from Iran in April-October 2018, drawn to nearly free shipping and extended credit offered by Tehran to boost sales.

India's total oil imports in February were about 5 million barrels, a growth of about 4.6 percent from a year earlier, the data showed.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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