Iran’s crude exports stay subdued in January despite waivers: Sources; By-

Buyers said plunging exports in November, which will severely hit the Islamic Republic’s budget revenues, were caused by a total lack of clarity of what volumes they were allowed to purchase under the new US sanctions.

Iran will see its crude exports severely curtailed for a third month in January as it is struggling to find new buyers amid fresh US sanctions even though its traditional customers secured waivers, according to tanker data and industry sources.

Iran’s crude exports in November plummeted to below 1 million barrels per day, from regular sales of 2.5 million bpd before sanctions were imposed in May, and taking them back to where they stood during the previous round of sanctions in 2012-2016.

According to tanker data and industry sources, Iran’s crude shipments remained below 1 million bpd in December and are unlikely to exceed that level in January despite rising month-on-month.

“In January, I expect a slight uptick in the second half of the month with some Asian lifting resuming,” one of the sources said. “For the time being, I am pencilling in around 900,000 bpd for January.”

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