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Buyers of Iranian crude oil and condensates imported 13% less in the first quarter of this year versus the corresponding three-month period last year, as India – the Islamic Republic’s second largest oil buyer in recent years – slashed its intakes in February and March.
Delhi in January issued a directive to all Indian refiners to cut their intakes of Iranian crude through March – the end of the Indian fiscal year – to present, at least symbolically, an effort to comply with US sanctions limiting the volumes of Iranian oil countries can lift.
While customers were required to hold intakes from Iran to approximately 2013 levels, 2014 saw Indian imports increase a massive 45% year-on-year, theoretically making it the biggest ‘violator’ of US sanctions among Iran’s remaining five regular customers: China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey.
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