(Updates with latest figures for Asian buyers)
Dec 6 Iran is struggling to find buyers for its
crude, with top Asian consumers cutting purchases as Western
sanctions choke off trade with OPEC's second-largest producer.
The following are imports as reported by China, South Korea
and Japan. India's figures are calculated by Reuters based on
data from trade sources.
Also given are annual term crude contract volumes that Iran
has agreed with its major buyers.
Volumes are in thousand barrels per day.
Asia's buying of Iran crude so far this year:
Jan-Oct Jan-Oct Pct change
China 426 549 -22
Japan 188 320 -41
India 328 307 7.1
South Korea 148 243 -39
Total: 1,090 1,419 -23
Iran's Oil Exports to Asia
Zhuhai Zhenrong 205 240
Unipec 230 270
Chinaoil 8 8
Showa Shell NA 100
JX 80 90
Toyota Tsusho 45 50
Cosmo Oil About 30 40
Mitsubishi -- 15
Idemitsu Kosan NA 07
Kanematsu -- --
Mitsui -- 10
Marubeni NA 10
Itochu -- -
MRPL NA 142
Essar Oil 100 100
HPCL 60 70
BPCL 10 20
IOC NA 30
SK Energy 130 120
Hyundai Oilbank 70 70
CHINA: Unipec and Zhuhai Zhenrong cut imports from Iran by
nearly half in the first quarter of the year because of
differences over the terms of annual contracts. From April
Unipec started taking the same volumes it did last year after
settling the differences. The cut in the first quarter would
mean a reduction of about 14 percent when spread over the full
year. The figures in the annual table are based on a cut of
about 14 percent for both.
Imports fell 23.2 percent in October from a year earlier,
with traders citing delivery delays by Iranian tankers, but were
up 19.3 percent on the month.
JAPAN: Imports of Iranian crude oil fell to zero in July for
the first time since 1981, according to trade ministry data,
which the oil industry takes as a benchmark because it tracks
the actual import status of oil tankers. Shipments in October
fell 40 percent from a year ago to 186,949 bpd.
INDIA: Has allowed state refiners to import Iranian oil,
with Tehran arranging shipping and insurance, from July 1,
keeping imports flowing after European sanctions hit insurance
for the cargoes. It is also providing limited insurance cover
for local tankers to ship Iranian oil. Iran's second-biggest
client after China shipped in 14 percent more oil in October
from a month ago at about 366,400 bpd.
SOUTH KOREA: Became the first major Asian consumer of
Iranian crude to announce a halt in imports due to the EU ban on
insuring tankers carrying Iranian oil. It imported no crude oil
from Iran in August, and imports in October were near the full
annual contract volumes of about 200,000 bpd.
Iran's Oil Exports to Europe, South Africa:
Figures in thousands of barrels per day based on industry and
Customer Country H2'2012 Jan-Dec 2011
Tupras Turkey 124 200
South Africa 0 100
TURKEY: Imports have been very volatile in the past months
with July being as low as 48,000 bpd but August as high as
200,000 bpd. Turkey effectively remains the only country still
buying oil from Iran in Europe.
All other major buyers of Iranian oil in Europe in 2011 and
early 2012 have stopped purchases to comply with sanctions.
They include France's Total, Royal Dutch/Shell, Greece's
Hellenic Petroleum and Motor Oil, Spain's Cepsa and Repsol,
Italy's ERG, Iplom, Saras and ENI. ENI was exempted from
sanctions and is still allowed to buy oil to recoup its debt but
sources say it decided against doing so until it can clarify the
situation with shipping insurance.
SOUTH AFRICA: Imported no crude oil from Iran in July in a
sign Pretoria is avoiding shipments until it can be certain to
avoid sanctions. In May, imports from Iran stood at 67,000 bpd
but since June Africa's biggest economy has replaced shipments
with crude from other suppliers, such as Saudi Arabia.
(Compiled by Asian and European Energy Desks)