TOKYO - Asian imports of Iranian oil rose almost 10 percent from a year ago in August following a landmark agreement on Tehran's disputed nuclear program that sets the stage for a significant increase in the OPEC member's crude shipments next year.
Imports by Iran's four biggest buyers - China, India, Japan and South Korea - totaled just over 1 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, 9.9 percent higher than a year earlier, government and tanker-tracking data showed.
Tehran is desperate to recover market share lost under US and European Union sanctions and boost growth after decades of diplomatic and economic isolation. But Iran's oil sales look to be headed towards a six-month low in September, down 16 percent from August, with tanker loading data showing Tehran has struggled to raise exports despite the optimism over the landmark deal.
To entice buyers, Iran has dropped its quarterly price for term oil supplies to the lowest in three years. It is also offering crude buyers the chance to join joint ventures to produce oil and gas from its massive reserves, some of the biggest in the world.