Markets - Iran shipments double

Mar 03 2017

Demand for Iranian crude shipments has more than doubled since the lifting of sanctions, according to a report from VesselsValue.

In the past five years, the main demand for Iranian crude came from China, Japan and South Korea, respectively.

Excluding the Iranian domestic trade, the most crude shipments went to China with 105 voyages recorded in 2016. Next was India at 85 trips followed by the UAE at 58 voyages.

Shipments last year were completed using VLCC, Suezmax and some Aframax tonnage.

Following the removal of sanctions, France was the destination for 21shipments in 2016, while Italy took 15 shipments, Greece 14 and Spain 13 cargoes.

“It is no surprise that historically Itan’s national tanker line NITC is the largest provider of tonnage. In 2015 companies operating on the trades out of Iran came from a very different demographic to after the sanctions,” VesselsValue said.

Besides NITC, the top tanker operators to ship crude in 2015 included COSCO, Idemitsu, Irano Hind, JX Ocean and K Line. However, post sanctions owners were seen from Greece and Belgium.

The influx of Greek owners also significantly increased the number of Suezmaxes shipping Iranian crude rising from 15 to 81 vessels, the report said.

In the face of the OPEC cuts, Iran increased production in January by over 50,000 barrels per day. And with shipments almost doubling, Iran is regaining considerable market share.

At the start of February, US President Trump announced new sanctions against Iranian and Chinese interests, following a missile test by Iran in January.

“Tensions are hot between Iran and the US and any further provocations from Iran could find their crude export programme curtailed once more,” VesselsValue added. 

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