Press TV- The latest market figures show that Iran’s exports of crude oil to China in September saw a whopping increase of 59 percent compared to the same period last year.
Figures released by Reuters showed that Iran exported as much as 3.22 million tonnes – or 784,000 barrels per day (bpd) – to Asia’s largest and world’s second top consumer last month.
Reuters quoted traders with knowledge of Iran’s oil sales as saying that the hefty growth was spurred by resumption of condensate lifting.
Traders also said the rise came as Chinese firms lifted more oil from joint venture productions in Iran.
Earlier, market figures showed that Iran’s oil exports in September had reached the highest level since February.
Figures released by Bloomberg showed that Iran shipped 2.28 million barrels a day (mb/d) of crude oil to international markets over the period.
The rise came as Iran – together with Iraq that exported 3.98 mb/d in September – took advantage of production cuts implemented by Saudi Arabia. Lower exports by the Saudis provided an opportunity to the two neighbors to win buyers in key markets like China and the US.
Saudi Arabia’s exports were 6.68 mb/d, the second-lowest for this year, Bloomberg added.
While Iraq took over the Saudis in exports to the US and India, Iran outpaced the strongest forces inside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) over exports to Asian heavyweight China.
For several years before 2012 when Iran faced a series of draconian US-led sanctions, the country exported around 2.5 mb/d, with more than half going to Asia, mainly China, South Korea, India and Japan. The sanctions decreased exports to below 1 mb/d. After they were lifted in early 2016, Iran’s oil exports increased gradually and today stand at around pre-sanctions levels.