Iran’s crude customers imported just 838,000 b/d from the Islamic Republic in November as swingeing US sanctions entered effect early in the month (MEES, 9 November 2018). The November figure was the second lowest in decades, and December shipments were likely lower still.

Though the US belatedly issued eight countries with six-month sanctions ‘waivers’ (MEES, 16 November 2018), to a large extent this came too late for potential buyers to arrange late-2018 shipments. Whilst the indications are that January volumes will see a modest rebound, December may well have marked the lowest volumes since the aftermath of the country’s 1979 revolution, ‘beating’ the October 2013 figure of 792,000 b/d at the peak of the previous round of sanctions (MEES, 22 November 2013). (CONTINUED - 682 WORDS)