July 29, 2016 / 5:47 AM / 3 years ago

Asia's June Iran oil imports jump 47.1 pct y/y to more than 4-year high

* Asian June imports at 1.72 mln bpd, highest since 2011
    * Imports by China, India, Japan, South Korea rise
    * Japan, South Korea imports more than double

    By Osamu Tsukimori
    TOKYO, July 29 (Reuters) - Imports of Iranian oil by four
major buyers in Asia in June jumped 47.1 percent from a year ago
to the highest level in more than four years, evidence Tehran's
aggressive moves to recoup market share, lost under
international sanctions, is paying off.
    Iran is regaining market share at a faster pace than
analysts had projected since sanctions were lifted in January,
helped by securing more tankers through a temporary shipping
insurance fix.
    Robust Iranian oil sales may continue as OPEC producers cut
prices for August crude sales to Asia, the Mediterranean and
from the port of Sidi Kerir in Egypt, in a continuing effort to
regain market share in these regions post-sanctions.
    Tehran's oil sales hit 4-1/2 year high in June, nearly
doubling since December as sanctions were lifted on its oil
exports in January. By discounting prices for its crude against
Saudi Arabia and Iraq, Iran has attracted new customers in
countries such as Poland and spurred higher demand from existing
buyers in Asia. 
    The four countries, South Korea, Japan, China and India,
imported 1.72 million barrels per day (bpd) in June, government
and ship-tracking data showed.
    Japan's trade ministry on Friday released official data
showing its imports almost tripled from a year earlier to
275,000 bpd last month.
    Iran has also gained new customers this year. Japanese oil
refiner TonenGeneral Sekiyu has bought its first oil
from Iran since becoming independent from U.S. oil major Exxon
Mobil Corp, three industry sources familiar with the
matter said. 
    The following tables show Asia's Iran crude imports in bpd
for last month and the year to date.
 Nation      Jun-16       Jun-15  yr/yr pct
  China    780,175      671,800        16.1
  India    381,500      283,900        34.4
  Japan    275,233       93,046       195.8
  Korea    280,600      119,100       135.6
  Total  1,717,508    1,167,846        47.1
  Nation  Jan-June 2016  Jan-June 2015  yr/yr pct
   China       600,608        589,400         1.9
   India       341,900        216,500        57.9
   Japan       205,871        172,803        19.1
   Korea       264,852        119,365       121.9
   Total     1,413,231      1,098,068        28.7

 (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Michael Perry)
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