August 31, 2017 / 5:57 AM / a year ago

Asian July imports of Iranian oil rise from 14-month low

    * Asia imports 1.52 mln bpd in July, -7.1 pct yr/yr
    * Japan imports tumble slump by a third; China up slightly
    * Jan-July Asia purchases around 1.7 mln bpd, up 17 pct

    By Aaron Sheldrick
    TOKYO, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Imports of Iranian crude by major
buyers in Asia rose in July from a 14-month low during the
previous month, as purchases from South Korea surged by nearly
30 percent and those from China held steady, offsetting declines
from Japan and India.
    China, India, South Korea and Japan together imported 1.52
million barrels per day (bpd) last month, government and
ship-tracking data showed. While imports rose from the previous
month, they were down 7.1 percent from a year earlier. 
    Iran is aiming to raise oil output to around 4 million bpd
by the end of the year from around 3.8 million bpd in recent
    For the first seven months of 2017, purchases by Asia's main
buyers were still up 16.6 percent from the same period in 2016
at just under 1.7 million bpd.
    Iran was exempted from an agreement by the Organization of
the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to reduce output by 1.2
million bpd, a victory for Tehran which has argued it needs to
regain the market share it lost under Western sanctions over its
disputed nuclear programme.
    The latest data showed South Korea's imports of Iranian
crude rose 26.7 percent in July to 368,935 bpd. Chinese
purchases were up slightly to 568,719 bpd.
    Japan's trade ministry on Monday released official data
showing its Iranian imports fell for a third straight month in
    The following tables show Asia's Iran crude imports in bpd
for last month and the year to date. 
 Country          July-17         July-16   yr/yr pct
 China            568,719         566,191         0.5
 India            414,900         523,100       -20.7
 Japan            167,505         256,651        34.7
 Korea            368,935         291,097        26.7
 Total          1,520,059       1,637,039        -7.1
 Country    Jan-July 2017   Jan-July 2016   yr/yr pct
 China            584,006         595,598        -2.0
 India            521,300         368,300        41.5
 Japan            166,777         213,261       -21.8
 Korea            414,217         268,667        54.2
 Total          1,686,300       1,445,826        16.6


 (Additional reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editng by Christian
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