China significantly increases Iranian oil imports

Oil&Gas Materials 6 May 2016 13:00 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, May 6

By Aygun Badalova - Trend:

China, which was the biggest single buyer of Iranian oil last month, imported close to 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) of the country's crude, a massive increase on 514,000 bpd in March, International Oil Daily (IOD) reported.

Chinese state trader Unipec accounted for at least 260,000 bpd of the total amount.

India's purchases of Iranian crude, which had risen to around 500,000 bpd in March, dropped to around 300,000 bpd, with refiner Essar chartering two VLCCs that loaded at Kharg Island in the Mideast Gulf.

Propelled by a surge in purchases from China and additional sales to Europe, Iran's crude oil exports averaged close to 2 million barrels per day in April, a rise of more than 400,000 bpd compared to March, IOD reported with the reference to the multiple shipping sources.

"They're really pushing it out now," one export tracker says, while cautioning that the April figure could be unusually high because some ships that were due to load at Kharg in late March were pushed back.

Earlier director of international affairs at National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) Mohsen Ghamsari said Iran has increased oil exports by 900,000 bpd since January after the removal of international sanctions against Tehran.

He said Iran will continue efforts to increase the exports till fully materializing oil output and export plans.

Iran's oil output has reached 3.8 million barrels per day, of that figure almost 1.8 mbpd is supplied to the domestic refineries, according to Ghamsari.

Iran plans to increase its daily output to four million barrels until March 2017.