Iran’s oil exports in July are set to fall from June levels as the country battles Saudi Arabia and Iraq for market share but are about 70 percent higher than a year ago, according to a source with knowledge of the country’s crude lifting plans.
Exports will be about 2.14 million barrels per day (bpd) in July, down from about 2.31 million bpd in June, the highest since January 2012, the source said. The decline is mostly attributable to a fall in condensate exports as South Korea cuts purchases of the ultra-light oil and reduced crude liftings from European customers.
Iran’s oil exports have nearly doubled since December, the last month before sanctions targeting its disputed nuclear program were lifted, but it is facing ever tougher competition from its rival Saudi Arabia and neighbor Iraq.
This year, “we are really seeing the triumvirate turning the screws, especially with the return of Iranian barrels after the lifting of sanctions,” Matt Smith, a director of Commodity Research at ClipperData, said on his daily blog.
“Exports for the three nations are averaging more than 2.3 million barrels per day higher through May year-to-date compared to the same period last year,” he said.