Latest Turkish import data show the country importing 125,000 b/d from Iran in March, a five month high, helping overall imports of Iranian crude hit 1.62mn b/d, the highest since September. Bumper buying by China and South Korea meant April imports from Iran were even higher (MEES, 31 May). But Iran’s exports have since slumped with the 2 May expiry of waivers on US sanctions. Turkey, one of the waiver countries, appears to have stopped taking Iranian crude – a tanker carrying Iranian volumes that looked headed for Turkey earlier this month apparently diverted to the Syrian port of Banias.

Turkey’s top March supplier was Russia, with a monthly record of 208,100 b/d. This relegated Iraq (109,700 b/d) to third place. But on a quarterly basis Iraq, with 140,000 b/d for Q1, retained top spot ahead of Russia (122,000 b/d) and Iran (102,000 b/d). Iraq looks set to remain top supplier going forward, with the country’s oil marketing chief Alaa Alyasri telling MEES earlier this month that Iraq will continue to prioritize Turkey for northern exports of its crude (MEES, 24 May). (CONTINUED - 182 WORDS)