In­dia’s oil im­ports from Iran edged up in Septem­ber

Iran Daily - - Front Page -

In­dia’s oil im­ports from Iran edged up in Septem­ber from the pre­vi­ous month as re­fin­ers pushed back load­ing of some Au­gust car­goes, data ob­tained from sources showed.

Last month, In­dia shipped in about 528,000 bar­rels per day (bpd) oil from Iran, about one per­cent more than the 523,000 bpd of Au­gust and about 27 per­cent more than a year ear­lier, tanker ar­rival data ob­tained from ship­ping and in­dus­try sources showed, re­ported Reuters.

“Re­fin­ers had to de­lay lift­ing of some car­goes to late-au­gust and early Septem­ber as the govern­ment per­mis­sion to use Ira­nian ships and in­sur­ance came in the last week of Au­gust ... We could not lift full vol­umes in Au­gust be­cause of this,” said a source at one of the state re­fin­ers.

Data from other sources, such as from the In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Fi­nance, show that Ira­nian oil ex­ports are de­clin­ing be­fore the United States im­poses sanc­tions on Iran’s oil sec­tor on Novem­ber 4 af­ter pulling out of an in­ter­na­tional agree­ment on Iran’s nu­clear ac­tiv­i­ties.

In­dia’s oil im­ports from Iran plunged by a third in Au­gust com­pared with July, af­ter most in­sur­ers and rein­sur­ers backed out of trade with Iran to avoid fall­ing foul of the sanc­tions given their large ex­po­sure to the United States.

About 44 per­cent of the Ira­nian oil vol­umes that ar­rived in In­dia in Septem­ber were orig­i­nally meant for Au­gust lift­ing, the data showed. This was con­firmed by of­fi­cials at the two statere­fin­ers.

In­dia’s Septem­ber oil im­ports were also boosted by the im­port of two mil­lion bar­rels of Ira­nian oil by Reliance In­dus­tries Ltd.

Iran con­tin­ued to be the third big­gest oil sup­plier to In­dia in Septem­ber, af­ter Iraq and Saudi Ara­bia.

In­dia, Iran’s top oil client af­ter China, was one of the few na­tions that con­tin­ued to trade with the Mid­dle East­ern coun­try when sanc­tions were pre­vi­ously in force.

New Delhi wants to con­tinue pur­chas­ing Ira­nian oil through this round of sanc­tions, although it is pre­par­ing to trim im­ports to win waivers from the United States.

In­dian re­fin­ers have al­ready placed or­ders to buy nine mil­lion bar­rels, or about 300,000 bpd, of Ira­nian oil in Novem­ber, in­dus­try sources told Reuters last week. In­dia’s Petroleum and Nat­u­ral Gas Min­is­ter Dhar­men­dra Prad­han con­firmed that two In­dian re­fin­ers will lift Ira­nian oil in Novem­ber.

In­dia’s Novem­ber load­ing of Ira­nian oil will be sharply lower than its pur­chases in the April to Septem­ber pe­riod.

Be­tween April and Septem­ber, the first half of In­dia’s fi­nan­cial year, the coun­try’s oil im­ports from Iran surged 40 per­cent to 627,000 bpd, tanker ar­rival data showed.

In Jan­uary-septem­ber, In­dia’s oil im­ports from Iran rose by 21 per­cent to 592,000 bpd, the data showed.

The South Asian na­tion was hop­ing to lift sig­nif­i­cantly higher vol­umes in the cur­rent fis­cal year, af­ter Tehran of­fered a dis­count on ship­ping and an ex­tended credit pe­riod, be­fore the US de­ci­sion on sanc­tions changed its plans.

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