A new report shows Iranian oil exports continued to increase in June and July and may further rise this month despite American sanctions banning any purchases of Iranian crude by international buyers.
The Wednesday report by the Reuters news agency cited figures from major international tanker trackers suggesting that Iranian oil exports had peaked at 950,000 barrels per day (bpd) in June.
The figure compares with around 100,000 bpd of Iranian oil exports reported in 2020 after a series of US sanctions enacted in 2018 and toughened a year later started to affect crude supplies from the country.
A bulk of the current Iranian oil exports reaches China where private buyers with no financial interests in the United States take delivery of crude shipments that Iran offers at major discounts.
However, shipment dropped slightly in July because of lower demand in China and also because of a fierce competition from Russia which has also turned to Chinese buyers since it came under US sanctions earlier this year over a war in Ukraine.
The Reuters report said Iran may increase its oil exports to China in August as it suggested the price difference between Iranian and Russian shipments may widen.
It said Iran has offered it crude oil for August at a discount of $11 a barrel to the Brent benchmark on a delivered China basis. That means that the price difference between Iranian and Russian crudes will be around $8 a barrel this month, up from $3.5-$4 in late July.
The analysis also pointed to a potential success in the current talks between Iran and world powers, including the US, to revive a 2015 nuclear deal which could lead to an expansion of Iranian oil exports to countries in Europe and to South Korea