Turkey cuts Iran imports

Turkey cuts Iran imports

Turkey cut its crude oil imports from Iran steeply in April from unusually high levels in March, but its purchases were still close to last year’s average, meaning Ankara has yet to slash buying to the extent sought by Washington, data from shipping sources showed.

Turkey said on March 30 that it would cut imports of oil from Iran by 20 percent from last year’s quantities, ceding to U.S. pressure to reduce purchases.

Turkey’s state refining company Tüpraş took around 5.3 million barrels of Iranian crude in April, or around 177,000 barrels per day (bpd), according to shipping agency data from its two import terminals Tutunciftlik and Aliaga.

While Turkey has reduced imports by 100,000 bpd compared with March, this is a reduction from an unusually high month. April imports are only marginally below its 2011 average of 200,000 bpd.

The volume is also higher than the 140,000 bpd April figure a Turkish industry official last week said was imported and is not yet the 20 percent cut promised by the Turkish government.

Turkey imported 1.174 million tons, about 270,000 barrels per day, of Iranian crude oil in March, according to official trade data on the Turkish Statistical Institute web site, obtained by Reuters following a request.
The March figures represent the highest monthly purchase of Iranian crude by Turkey since July 2011.