* Iran’s crude exports to fall 7 percent to 1.86 mln bpd in July
* Exports to Asia at 1.28 mln bpd, Europe to take 580,000 bpd
* China’s purchases to hit 10-month high of 658,000 bpd in July
By Osamu Tsukimori
TOKYO, June 30 (Reuters) - Iran’s crude oil exports in July are set to fall 7 percent from this month’s three-month high, mainly due to a decline in exports to Europe, a person with knowledge of the Middle Eastern country’s tanker loading schedule said.
The OPEC member has been raising oil production to recoup market share lost under Western sanctions to regional rivals such as Saudi Arabia. Its exports last year also showed a similar decline in July before recovering sharply from August.
Overall oil output was hovering at more than 3.9 million barrels per day (bpd) and is expected to reach 4 million bpd by March 2018, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said this month.
Crude oil loadings from Iranian ports, excluding condensate from gas fields, will total 1.93 million bpd next month, with 2 million barrels of them being put into storage on tankers, according to the source.
Loading figures for condensate, an ultra-light crude, were not available for June and July.
Total crude exports for July will be 1.86 million bpd, up 2 percent on a year ago, with 1.28 million bpd destined for Asia and 580,000 bpd to Europe. That compared with 1.30 million bpd shipped to Asia and 700,000 bpd to Europe this month.
The biggest buyer China is set to load 658,000 bpd in July, the highest amount since last September and up 3 percent from June.
India remained the second-biggest buyer and is to load 395,000 bpd next month, down 15 percent on June, the source said.
India has been curbing Iranian oil imports in a possible retaliation for Tehran not awarding a gas field development to Indian companies. India’s Iranian oil imports in May fell to their lowest since June 2016.
Japan is scheduled to lift 134,000 bpd in July, up 34 percent from June and the highest since January. Loadings of crude for South Korea next month are to hit a four-month high of 97,000 bpd, up from 90,000 bpd this month.
In Europe, main buyer Turkey is lifting 194,000 bpd next month, down 27 percent from June. Italy is loading nearly 100,000 bpd, down from 133,000 bpd this month.
Greece and Spain are each lifting nearly 65,000 bpd next month, little changed from June, the source added.
Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Richard Pullin