Teheran, May 11 - Neftegaz.RU. This massive surge in exports comes ahead of the May 8 of US president's decision to cancel Iran nuclear deal and impose imminent sanctions targeting the country's oil exports. Sources have also said the rise in exports last month was a way for Iran to prepare itself for a more challenging environment.
Demand for Iranian crude in China and India is likely to remain very strong even if sanctions are now due to be imposed, though refiners in Europe, South Korea and Japan are likely to tread more carefully.
Total estimated export volume on Aframaxes, Suezmaxes and VLCCs from Iranian ports in April rose 16% to 2.70 million b/d from 2.32 million b/d in March, according to data from S&P Global Platts trade flow software cFlow.
The sharp rise in exports is attributed to refinery turnaround work at the Abadan refinery along with floating storage volumes being exported to some of Iran's key customers. Of this, crude exports were around 2.45 million b/d, a rise of some 400,000 b/d from March, though condensate exports remained largely steady month-on-month.
Exports to Asia rose significantly to 1.81 million b/d in April from 1.40 million b/d in March, accounting for 67% of total monthly exports, up from 60% in March. The Asian gain was led by a rise flows to India, up by almost 60% to 670,500 b/d.
China remained the largest export destination for Iranian oil, with flows rising to 714,467 b/d in April, up just over 20,000 b/d from March. Even demand from Japan, which has fallen sharply in the past year, rose from no volumes in March to 118,900 b/d in April.