• 20 February 2019 - 09:58
  • News Code: 97326
نفت

Iran’s exports of crude oil were higher than expected in January and are at least holding steady this month, according to tanker data and industry sources, as some customers have increased purchases due to waivers from U.S. sanctions.

Shipments are averaging 1.25 million barrels per day (bpd) in February, Refinitiv Eikon data showed and a source at a company that tracks Iranian exports said. They were between 1.1 and 1.3 million bpd in January, higher than first thought, Reuters reported.

A high rate of Iranian shipments would weigh on oil prices and work against a global push to cut supply in 2019 led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. OPEC member Iran negotiated an exemption from the production-cutting pact.

“We think people are taking more ahead of the deadline,” said the industry source who tracks Iranian exports, referring to the scheduled end of U.S. sanctions waivers in May.

Increased exports from the Islamic Republic might prompt renewed U.S. efforts to clamp down on flows. However, this would run the risk of driving up oil prices as Washington is also seeking to curtail exports from another foe, Venezuela.

The February shipments are up from January’s 1.1 million bpd, according to Refinitiv. The industry source estimated January exports at 1.3 million bpd, close to February’s level.

In any case, the January figures are higher than initial estimates. Some had predicted Iranian crude exports would stay below 1 million bpd last month, a similar rate to that in December.

A source at a second company that tracks Iranian exports said shipments in the first 10 days of February were above 1.1 million bpd and on a rising trend - higher than the source expected.

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