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First export shipments loaded in Iran underway

First export shipments loaded in Iran underway
Four of the first tankers carrying shipments of Iranian crude are heading to ports in the EU with cargoes of 1m barrels, with a further nine headed for Asia.

Loaded at the oil terminal at Kharg Island (pictured), which handles around 98% of Iran’s crude exports, India-flagged Distya Akula is currently en-route through the Gulf of Aden on charter to Litasco, and is thought to be the first post-sanctions shipment of Iranian Oil, heading to Constanta, Romania.

Another vessel, Liberia-flagged Eurohope, departed on 16 February, and is the second shipment to Constanta inside of a week, according to commodities intelligence firm Genscape.

Meanwhile Cepsa-chartered suezmax Monte Toledo left Kharg Island on 15 February en route to the Port of Algeciras in Spain, while Tanzania-flagged Tankers Sana and Salina are bound for the ports of Aliaga and Tutuncifilik, respectively, in Turkey.

“Genscape expects to see more tankers loading Iranian crude for European destinations in the next few weeks,” the company added.

“Iran’s targeting of the European market is likely an attempt to recapture the market share lost following the imposition of the oil embargo in 2012, boosting tonne-mile demand,” Sevita Kondyliou, Oil and Tankers analyst at Affinity Research, told Seatrade. “Iranian crude going to Europe fuels the competition for market share, in particular with West African heavier crude.”

As well as Europe, a further nine tankers loaded with cargoes between 80 and 280 kilotonnes (KT) of crude have left for destinations throughout Asia, according to Affinity, and VLCC Atlantas, loaded with 2m barrels, departed on 15 February on charter to Total, destined for South Africa.