Iran boosts oil exports as China cuts imports from Russia

April 29, 2022 - 14:19

TEHRAN – Iran is boosting oil exports in the current year as major oil buyers like China are cutting back imports from Russia due to the war with Ukraine, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing data from commodity data provider Kpler.

As reported, Iranian oil exports increased by 30 percent in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the previous year, to reach 870,000 barrels per day (bpd).

The jump in Iran’s oil exports in Q1 was the fastest among all producers in West Asia, while the volume of exports is estimated to be the highest since former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the so-called Iranian nuclear deal in 2018, the report said.

China is a major buyer of Iranian crude oil which has never stopped shipping in the Islamic republic’s oil even during the sanctions. Now, the Asian country is emboldened to import more oil from Iran, not expecting to be hit by U.S. sanctions “because Washington has its plate full with Russia,” a Kpler analyst told the Journal.

Earlier this month, Washington Free Beacon, an American conservative political journalism website, said in a report that Iran's "fleet of ghost ships" has been successfully sidestepping U.S. sanctions, delivering millions of barrels of crude oil and petroleum products to foreign destinations.

The report claimed that Iranian oil tankers have shipped at least $22 billion worth of oil only to China since 2021.

According to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the country's oil exports have increased by 40 percent in recent months.

Iran’s crude oil production in March reached 2.546 million bpd to register a 7,000-barrel increase compared to the figure for February, according to OPEC’s latest monthly report.

The country produced 2.539 million bpd of crude oil in February, the report said citing secondary sources.

The Islamic Republic’s average crude output for the first quarter of 2022 stood at 2.528 million bpd indicating a 56,000-bpd increase compared to the figure for the fourth quarter of the previous year, the report indicated.

The country’s heavy crude oil price also increased by $19.36 in March, to register a 20.8 percent rise compared to the previous month, according to the OPEC report.

EF/MA

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