Asian imports of Iranian crude oil rose from a year ago in June, the last month before a landmark agreement that will eventually lead to more exports from the country was reached on Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.
Imports by Iran’s four biggest buyers – China, India, Japan and South Korea – totaled 1.17 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, up more than 13 percent from a year earlier, government and tanker-tracking data showed.
Iran is keen to recover market share that evaporated under U.S. and European Union sanctions designed to keep its exports at around 1 million bpd, down from 2.5 million bpd in 2011.
Under the accord reached in Vienna on July 14, Iran will be subject to longer-term restrictions on its nuclear program in return for the removal of U.S., U.N. and European sanctions.
The restrictions are to be removed next year if the deal is approved by the U.S. Congress and inspectors confirm that Iran is in compliance with the limits to its nuclear activities.