Foreign demand for Iranian crude has more than doubled since sanctions against Iran were lifted early last year, according to new data from Vessels Value.
The country that took the most deliveries of Iranian crude was China, with 105 shipments in 2016. Over the year, India took 85 deliveries, Iran 64 deliveries, United Arab Emirates 58 shipments and South Korea 39.
China, India and UAE have always been stalwart importers of Iranian Crude, while Japan and South Korea have also taken regular deliveries of Iranian crude over the last five years.
New players in the mix following the removal of sanctions include France who rose from 0 to 21 journeys in 2016. Italy took 15 shipments, up from 0, while it was a similar story from Greece (14 shipments), and Spain (13 shipments).
In its market commentary, Vessels Value said: “It is no surprise that historically Iran’s national tanker line, NITC, is the largest provider of tonnage. In 2015 companies operating on the trades out of Iran came from a very different demographic to after the sanctions.”
Top operators in 2015 besides NITC included COSCO, Idemitsu, Irano Hind, JX Ocean and K Line.
In 2016 this group changed dramatically to begin to include owners from Greece and Belgium. The influx of Greek owners has also significantly increased the number of Suezmaxes on the trade rising from 15 to 81 vessels employed.
Despite the overall cut in output from the group of OPEC members, Iran has increased production by around 50,000 barrels per day.
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