Iran Sales At 4-Month High On Bumper Korean Buying; April Set For Dip

Imports of Iranian crude and condensate rose to 1.3mn b/d in February and will likely be a touch higher still in March. But this is just half of pre-sanctions volumes and the looming 4 May expiry of US ‘waivers’ points to buying falling in April despite record OSP discounts.

South Korea imported a 10-month high of 983,500 tons of Iranian crude and condensate in February (274,000 b/d on the presumption that volumes are split 50:50 between crude and much lighter condensate, though in reality volumes are likely to have been skewed towards the latter).

Imports are almost five times January’s 57,000 b/d, which were in turn Korea’s first imports since last August. Korea adopted a conservative approach and halted buying well before the imposition of US sanctions from 5 November last year. At the time it was far from clear that the US would grant waivers: ultimately Korea, one of eight countries to receive a waiver, was permitted to import 200,000 b/d. (CONTINUED - 795 WORDS)

DATA INSIDE THIS ARTICLE

chart Iran Cuts Asian OSPs To Record Discounts To Competing Saudi Grades For April-Loading Cargoes ($/B Fob)