India imported just 202,000 b/d of crude from Iran in December, the lowest figure since December 2015, according to provisional import data. Japanese December data, meanwhile, confirmed a second straight month of zero buying (MEES, 1 February). All told, Iran’s Asian customers took a combined 705,000 b/d in December, only just up on November’s 695,000 b/d which in turn was the lowest figure since the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution (see chart,MEES, 1 February). December’s total was supported by relatively-buoyant Chinese buying of 503,000 b/d: Korea took zero for the fourth and Taiwan for the third straight month (MEES, 25 January). For 2018 as a whole, Asian imports from Iran were down 280,000 b/d (17%) at 1.38mn b/d (MEES, 1 February).

Turkey, meanwhile, saw imports of Iranian crude slump to zero for the first time in over a decade in November, freshly-released official data indicate. However the hiatus proved short lived, with shipping data indicating the arrival of two cargoes totaling 1.8mn barrels in December. (CONTINUED - 182 WORDS)