India's oil imports from Iran jump to record-high in July

Persian Gulf Arabian Gulf

Repeating the pattern of past weeks, crude prices on Friday ended the week down by 0.4 percent for West Texas Intermediate and 1.5 percent for Brent, this time in reaction to China state oil major Sinopec cutting its purchases of USA product due to the trade spat between both countries.

As reported by Reuters, India's monthly oil imports from Iran grew by approximately 30% to a record 768 000 bpd in July, according to preliminary tanker arrival data obtained by Reuters.

It said this was part of a pre-planned plot by the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia to exploit economic tensions inside Iran.

A State Department official confirmed Francis Fannon, assistant secretary of state at the US Bureau of Energy Resources, was recently in China to discuss Iranian sanctions.

Another expert who foresees tightening was far more outspoken in his short-term forecast: Stephen Brennock, oil analyst at PVM Oil Associates, stated in a note on Friday that "Venezuela's ticking time bomb together with the return of Iran's oil industry to the sanctions era has all the makings for a major supply shock".

The US administration has vowed to impose sanctions on any company continuing to buy oil from Iran after the November 4 deadline.

While South Korea has halted imports from Iran and reports in India indicate it may also bow to the United States campaign, Washington's entreaties to Beijing have proved fruitless, two unnamed officials told Bloomberg. The activity extended to the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway for oil shipments the Revolutionary Guards have threatened to block.

"The Americans say they want to reduce Iranian oil exports to zero".

The surge in imports has been attributed to perks offered by Iran before United States sanctions on the petroleum sector are enforced from 4 November, following the US's withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.

India, the second purchaser of Iranian crude, also increased its imports from Iran last month. While the Trump administration has said it wants to cut Iranian oil exports to zero by November 4, most analysts viewed that target as unlikely.

When pressed by CNBC to answer the questions she was raising, Croft replied, "I think this market will tighten at the end of this year", and added that Venezuelan production continues to fall and will be a contributing factor.

On 7 August, Washington will reimpose sanctions on Iran's purchase of U.S. dollars, its trade in gold and precious metals and its dealings with metals, coal and industrial-related software.

Between April and July India's oil imports from Iran has risen by an annual 40% to about 677 500 bpd, the data showed.

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