Iran’s crude oil and oil product revenues in the first four months of the Iranian year beginning March 21 until July 23 jumped by 60 per cent to reach the equivalent of US$9.9 billion, Iranian media reported, citing figures by the Central Bank of Iran.
Oil sales revenues soared by 84.2 per cent to $8.3 billion, setting a record, according to Iran’s central bank.
The increased revenues were the result of much higher oil prices this year compared to last year, and Iran’s high oil export volumes in March, April, and May. In May, the United States said it intended to slap sanctions on Iranian oil exports starting November 5, expecting to get Iranian oil sales down to zero.
Over the past two months, Iran’s oil exports have already started to drop, as some buyers started to shun Iranian oil due to the coming sanctions and lack of insurance coverage, and others scaled back purchases hoping to win U.S. waivers.
Between August 1 and 16, Iran’s oil exports plunged by 600,000 bpd compared to July loadings, Platt’s preliminary tanker tracking data showed. According to ship tracking data compiled by Bloomberg, Iranian oil and condensate exports were below 2.1 million bpd in August—the lowest levels since March 2016, with crude oil exports at their lowest levels since January this year.
Iran’s key customers in Asia—no.1 China and no.2 India—are not expected to cut off their imports of Iranian oil, although India may reduce some of its Iranian intake as it tries to maneuver between cheap Iranian crude and the U.S. pressure to have Iran’s oil exports choked off.
China has said that it would not stop buying Iranian oil, but Beijing is also said to have agreed not to increase its oil purchases from Iran.
While initial estimates of Iranian oil export losses were closer to 500,000 bpd, now more analysts are expecting that the losses could be higher than 1 million bpd.