AVA- The United States granted exemptions to Japan and seven other countries on Nov. 5, allowing them to continue buying Iranian oil.
As Japan sees Iran as an important crude supplier, local refiners plan to request the government to secure extension at the earliest, president of Petroleum Association of Japan (PAJ) Takashi Tsukioka told reporters in Tokyo.
Refiners in Japan and South Korea are reportedly looking to resume Iranian oil imports. Tsukioka said first Japan's shipments are about to take place around end-December. Oil loadings in January-March are likely to be heavy, he added.
Among the importers of Iranian crude is Japan’s second-biggest refiner Idemitsu Kosan which hopes to buy the remainder of its contractual volumes of Iranian oil during the exemption period, said Tsukioka which also serves as the company’s chairman.
Iran’s biggest oil client is China which is also the world’s largest energy consumer. Chinese refiners imported 247,160 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian oil in October, data cited by Reuters showed.
For the January-October period, imports from Iran fell 3.4 percent from 2017 to 25.54 million tonnes, or 613,300 bpd, it said.
China is allowed to buy 360,000 bpd of oil from Iran for at least 180 days from the imposition of sanctions, but Beijing has pledged to continue Iranian shipments.
For that matter, private companies are likely to follow US instructions but state-owned refiners have signaled to remain non-committal.
Wednesday 28 November 2018 04:32