News / Economy

Asia's Early 2014 Iran Oil Imports Exceed Nuclear Deal Levels

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2nd L) speaks with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida (2nd R) at a meeting in Tokyo, March 5, 2014, as Japan paid Iran $450 million owed for oil imports.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2nd L) speaks with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida (2nd R) at a meeting in Tokyo, March 5, 2014, as Japan paid Iran $450 million owed for oil imports.
Reuters
Iran's Asian buyers kept their oil imports from the OPEC member in the first four months of 2014 above the level allowed by the deal that eases some Western sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbs to its nuclear program.
 
Under the deal signed in November and implemented in January, Iran agreed to curtail its uranium enrichment program in return for the easing of some sanctions. As part of that agreement, Tehran is supposed to keep its exports at around 1 million barrels per day (bpd) for the six months to July 20.
 
However, Iran's biggest buyers - China, India, Japan and South Korea - together took in an average 1.24 million bpd of the Islamic republic's crude between January and April, up nearly a third from the same period last year. Imports by the four have helped to keep Iran's oil shipments above the deal's cap since at least November.
 
The higher Iranian sales in late 2013 and early 2014 have led to some concerns in Washington that a softening of the sanctions has given Tehran's economy a boost, but officials in the Obama administration have said they expect Iran's oil sales to meet the target for the entire six-month period.
 
“I don't think the United States wants to be hawkish with Iran right now,” said Richard Gorry, managing director at JBC Energy Asia.
 
“Iran doesn't have that much more to export, so it's not that this can go on indefinitely. They are limited by production issues. The bigger issue is that no one can invest in Iran's upstream industry, and production is flat to falling,” he said.
 
Since the agreement in Geneva last year, Tehran and six world powers have made little progress towards a breakthrough that would end for good the stand-off over the Middle Eastern nation's disputed nuclear activities.
 
While the Asian import totals have dropped closer to the agreed amount the last two months, intake volumes that hit nearly 1.4 million bpd in February - not counting oil going to other destinations such as Turkey and Syria - mean the six-month export target is likely to be missed.
 
Iran's crude exports also seem to have rebounded in May back up to about 1.38 million bpd, according to sources who track tanker loadings. Those would be arriving in Asia mostly in June, just short of the deadline for Iran to have reduced its exports to 1 million bpd for the six month to July 20.

April imports
 
In April, Iran's four main buyers imported 1.22 million bpd, up 6 percent from March and nearly twice that of a year ago, according to government and tanker-tracking data.
 
Iran's biggest oil customer, China, more than doubled its purchases in April from a year earlier to a record of nearly 800,000 bpd, while India's imports from Iran surged last month more than 90 percent on-year to about 225,000 bpd - although this was less than in the first quarter of the year.
 
South Korea imported 9 percent more than a year ago, or just over 135,000 bpd of Iranian crude for the month. Shipments to Japan - the last of the four to report its oil intake - gained more than seven-fold to 56,934 bpd last month, trade ministry data showed on Friday.
 
The six world powers want Iran to agree to scale back  proliferation-prone nuclear activity and accept tougher U.N. inspections to deny it any capability of quickly producing atomic bombs, in exchange for an end to economic sanctions.
 
Tehran says its nuclear program is aimed at generating electricity, not making weapons.
 
The next round of talks between the world group - made up of the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany -  and Iran will be held in Vienna from June 16 to 20, the European Union said on Tuesday.
 
The United States and the European Union toughened sanctions on Tehran in early 2012 in an effort to force it to end its nuclear program, slashing the Islamic republic's oil exports by more than half and costing it billions a month in revenue

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

There are Western concerns Islamic State militants soon may unleash offensive in kingdom that could create upheaval - though nation has solid intel, grip on banking system More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7893
JPY
USD
107.68
GBP
USD
0.6238
CAD
USD
1.1214
INR
USD
61.185

Rates may not be current.