Iran’s crude, condensate exports to tumble to 19-month low in October
TOKYO/SINGAPORE – Reuters
Iran’s total crude and condensate exports for October are expected to tumble by nearly a fifth from the previous month to a 19-month low, dented by production issues, a person with knowledge of the country’s tanker loading schedule said.
The hiccup in output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) number-three producer should help the cartel tighten global supply, supporting oil prices which hit a 27-month high this week on Saudi Arabia’s resolve to end a global oil glut.
Shipments of condensate have dropped due to a “technical problem” at the South Pars field, with maintenance work expected to take up to two months to complete, National Iranian Oil Company’s Director of International Affairs Saeid Khoshrou told Reuters in late September.
The preliminary schedule for October shows a decline of some 800,000 bpd from a six-year high of nearly 2.9 million barrels per day (bpd) in February. Tehran had been regaining market share at a faster pace than analysts had projected since sanctions were lifted.
Crude and condensate exports for October will be 2.09 million bpd, the lowest since March 2016, down from 2.57 million bpd in September, the person said. The source declined to be named as the information is confidential.
Iran was exempt from an OPEC deal to reduce output, allowing the country to regain market share after Western sanctions over its disputed nuclear programme were lifted in January 2016.
Exports to Europe are set to tumble 39 percent to 510,000 bpd in October from a month earlier, while loadings for Asia will fall 9 percent to 1.47 million bpd, according to the source.
Exports to the Middle East will hold at 111,000 bpd. However shipments to Japan are set to jump 83 percent to 218,000 bpd in October from a month earlier, while shipments to top buyer China will rise 2 percent. India is set to overtake South Korea as the No.2 buyer, taking 377,000 bpd, the source said.
South Korean loadings are set to drop by 48 percent from a month earlier to 238,000 bpd, which sources say is partly due to refinery maintenance season. Belarus is taking its first barrels since February. Iran has been producing around 3.8 million bpd over the past few months, according to a Reuters survey.
The OPEC producer aims to raise its output capacity to 4.7 million bpd by 2021, Amir Zamaninia, Iran’s deputy oil minister for trade and international affairs, said last week.